For a couple of hours on Thursday, it appeared as if Max Scherzer was headed to the San Diego Padres. Reviews started to flow into at round 1 p.m. PT that the Padres have been on the verge of buying the three-time Cy Younger Award winner with a little bit greater than 24 hours left earlier than the commerce deadline. Scherzer, who had accepted the truth that his time with the Washington Nationals was coming to an abrupt finish, heard rumblings from teammates. However he hadn’t but acquired a name from Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ basic supervisor.
“Rumors are rumors till you truly get the cellphone name,” Scherzer stated. “The truth that Twitter was going off and I hadn’t gotten a cellphone name, I knew one thing else was in all probability within the weeds. That is what it’s. You’ll be able to’t all the time fall for Twitter, however Twitter often is fairly good.”
Roughly 4 hours later, the Los Angeles Dodgers emerged as a frontrunner to amass Scherzer and his teammate, shortstop Trea Turner. By the tip of the evening, the deal was agreed to. On Friday, it was finalized. On Saturday, Scherzer joined the Dodgers in Phoenix. And on Wednesday, within the second of a extremely anticipated two-game collection in opposition to the Houston Astros, he’ll make his Dodgers debut.
“It is enjoyable to hitch these guys as a result of now we have an awesome likelihood to win,” Scherzer stated, “but it surely’s gonna take quite a lot of work to get there. Nothing’s assured but.”
Scherzer had the power to veto any commerce due to his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of main league service time, 5 consecutive years with the identical group). The Nationals’ 5-17 begin to July gave Rizzo readability that he wanted to, in Scherzer’s phrases, “give a facelift to the group to supply assets.”
Scherzer, 37, was “driving myself loopy” attempting to resolve his subsequent plan of action. Reasonably than deciding on a workforce he wished to be traded to, he offered an inventory of groups he would settle for. Provided that he would solely be becoming a member of that workforce for 2 to 3 months, he wished to make sure that he remained within the Nationwide League and that he pitched in a metropolis with a heat local weather. His final begin for the Nationals got here on Thursday afternoon, when he pitched six innings of one-run ball largely to alleviate trade considerations over the triceps problem that had compelled him to skip a previous flip via the rotation.
On a bus experience again from Philadelphia later that afternoon, he acquired phrase he was heading to the Dodgers, the reigning World Collection champions who lead the majors in run-differential however path the first-place San Francisco Giants by three and a half video games. Albert Pujols greeted Scherzer with a hug when he arrived within the clubhouse.
“Loopy,” Scherzer, talking by way of video convention from Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, stated of what the final week has been like. “Loopy’s the understatement, too. It was so much simpler earlier than youngsters and canine and every little thing, however now with three youngsters and 4 canine, life’s much more hectic. We’re selecting the circus up from D.C. and attempting to get it to L.A. as quickly as attainable.”
Scherzer — whose acquisition grew to become virtually a necessity due to the uncertainty that surrounds Trevor Bauer and his alleged sexual assault — joins a clubhouse that features Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, David Value and Pujols, a sextet that has mixed for six MVPs and 7 Cy Younger Awards.
From 2013 to 2021, Scherzer has gathered 131 wins, three Cy Younger Awards, eight invites to the All-Star Recreation and a 2.86 ERA. Scherzer leads the majors in FanGraphs wins above substitute throughout that nine-year stretch with 48.4. Proper behind him is Kershaw, who’s rehabilitation from a strained forearm has hit one thing of a lull, with 45.4.
“Clearly what he is performed in his profession, it is exceptional,” Scherzer stated. “We got here from the identical draft class [in 2006], and every little thing he is completed — it has been nice to compete in opposition to him. You push your self to try to match what he can do. The truth that we’re now gonna be on the identical workforce and get to compete for a similar prize — I am certain, as this retains going alongside, we’ll be capable of share extra suggestions and tips and simply acknowledge totally different conditions about how we each have advanced over time of how we see the sport now and the way we will pitch round issues.”
Scherzer involves the Dodgers on the tail finish of a seven-year, $210 million contract he signed with the Nationals in January of 2015. Scherzer’s efficiency by some means exceeded the expectations that got here with that contract. The fruits got here in 2019, when the Nationals defeated the Astros for the franchise’s first and solely World Collection championship. Scherzer’s departure now indicators a drastic transition for the Nationals.
“The flags fly eternally,” Scherzer stated. “All people’s time in D.C., all people’s onerous work is to have the banner there. That is one thing we’ll all the time bear in mind. Blissful I used to be part of it, to be on these groups that have been within the postseason however lastly be on the workforce to punch it all through. On the finish of the day, that is why we play the sport — to win the World Collection.”