That was the start of the trade deadline.
Just before midnight on July 29, a day before the July 30 MLB trading deadline, word broke that the Dodgers had acquired Nationals ace Max Scherzer. But wait, they also got a short star Tria Turner.
Los Angeles was already the favorites to win the World Championships at that point, but the massive move only solidified the power of the stars emerging from that roster.
The Dodgers may not have been able to chase the giants, but they have managed to beat their Bay Area rivals in the NLDS to reach the NLCS. And if the Dodgers are going to get off the hole early to the Braves, and go down early 2-0 with their return to Chavez Ravine, they will need to see these two mid-season possessions escalate and play a big role the rest of the way.
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Max Scherzer on the move
In the run-up to the trade deadline, speculation swirled that Scherzer might be on the move.
It makes sense. On July 29, the national team was sitting at 47-55, eight games of first place behind the Mets, who seemed to be full of talent. The 2019 World Series champions were stuck, deciding on the deadline to fully commit to rebuilding rather than trying to add a few pieces in the last round after the season ended. Not to mention that the 37-year-old was in the final year of his contract with Washington and could pull out at the end of the year with a choice of compensation only for his departure.
So it’s time to shop for it. Athletic’s Jason Stark reported on July 27 Eight teams known to play with Scherzer are the Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Astros and Mets.
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Some teams kept coming here and there, but on July 29, Padres emerged as a clear front runner. Per Ken Rosenthal athleteIt looked as if there was an agreement to exchange players. The bigger question was whether Scherzer would waive the no-trade clause.
Can Trea Turner be traded?
I have always felt, at best, speculative. Of course, the All-Star’s permanent short service, still out of free agency for a year and a half, has been baffling for the teams. He’s been out of season having made 12 and stole 12 bases with a .335/.394/.588 slash in the abbreviated 2020 COVID-19 season. He has made at least 30 base passes in each of his previous four seasons and has made 40 base passes twice.
There were a few issues. For starters, the Nationals still have eyes for a potential bounce back in 2022 with a young core that would include Turner, Phenom Juan Soto, dynamic prospects Carter Kibum and Luis Garcia – with any luck – Steven Strasbourg returning to the rotation.
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Then, on the morning of July 29, Nationals announced that Turner and several other players were headed to the list of those infected with COVID-19. Players can still be dealt with once they’re on the list, but that’s sure to muddy the waters.
However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that Turner is still attracting commercial interest from teams, even after testing positive for COVID-19. As it turns out, he wasn’t the only player put on the COVID list that day who ended up trading: Daniel Hudson and Jan Gomez were, and their moves are coming on July 30th.
Then it happened. MLB Network’s John Morosi tweeted Late on the night of July 29, the Dodgers landed both Scherzer and Turner in a move that shook the baseball world.
Washington’s full comeback ended up being a group of prospects, with catcher Kibert Ruiz, right bowler Josiah Gray, right bowler Gerardo Carrillo and defensive back Donovan Casey.
It was an amazing move, and yet it made sense for the dodgers to make the trade. Trevor Power, one of the Dodgers’ top bowlers, has been placed on administrative leave after being charged with assault. Earlier in the year Dustin May, who was a huge success for the team early in the year and during the team’s 2020 World Series Championship, was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. Scherzer’s addition of Clayton Kershaw Walker Buehler and Julio Urreas spins instantly made it the best spin in baseball.
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The Dodgers already had a brief starring in Corey Seager. However, Seager is a free agent at the end of the season, and according to Spotrac, the Dodgers already have a 2022 payroll of $198 million, with big contracts like those of Mookie Betts and Justin Turner taking up a fair amount of space. Turner’s trading gave the team the best quarterback combination in the game, while also giving Los Angeles an insurance plan in case Seager doesn’t re-sign with the team this off season.
since the trade
Obviously, the deal worked with the Dodgers.
Los Angeles finished the season with the second-most wins in baseball, beating the team with the most wins in the NLDS. Since Scherzer put on a blue Dodger, no pitcher can match the 2.9 Fangraphs WAR he posted as he dazzled to a perfect 8-0 record with 1.94 ERA and an unbelievable 34.1 percent strike rate in 74.1 innings with the team.
Turner won the Premier League batting title and finished the regular season with the most number of players contested for first place at 6.9. Since the trade, he’s hit 10 runs, stole 11 bases and cut .338/.385/.565 in Los Angeles.
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And citizens should be excited about closing the deal, too. Gray immediately joined the spin and showed promising signs. While his 5.31 ERA and 5.71 FIP during his first Nationals weren’t quite as good, he was greatly amplified by a four-game span during the time he allowed 22 in 17.1 innings of action. Eliminate those outings, and he’s had an era of 2.99 cleaner in his eight remaining starts. At just 23 years old, the young pitcher’s ceiling is high.
Another big prospect for a comeback was Ruiz, who had just made his MLB debut earlier in the year with the Dodgers. Upon acquisition by the Nationals, it posted a .308/.381/.577 slash with five homers and an impressive 8.2 percent walk rate and 7.1 percent strike rate in Triple-A. He was promoted to the majors on August 30 and scored a .284/.348/.395 slash with a pair of creepers and a solid 6.7 percent walk rate to accompany a meager 4.5 percent strike rate. The 23-year-old kickstand has long been seen as one of the best eye-catching prospects, and its combination with Gray’s personalities to make a promising battery for Citizens for years to come.