1. Max Scherzer
The dream is dead … for now. Actually, it probably wasn’t ever alive because it’s hard to envision the Nationals, even if they had fallen far out of contention, dealing their ace to a fellow NL “rival.” Now, at 36-36 after winning 10 of their last 11 games, the Nationals sit second in the NL East and might just go for it one last time.
Max Scherzer has been the dream rumor for so many other contenders. He’s never been on the block, but it’s been speculated general manager Mike Rizzo could dangle him if things got bad in the nation’s capital. It’s not like moving Mad Max would’ve hurt Washington either. He would have gotten the Nats more pieces to help build around Juan Soto and Trea Turner. They would’ve simply expanded their window with an expiring contract while sending off Scherzer to a contender for a better life in the season’s final two months.
Could things change in five weeks? Sure. But right now, Kyle Schwarber is quite literally the hottest hitter on the planet. Joe Ross, Erik Fedde and Jon Lester have all been serviceable. Patrick Corbin is doing much better after a disastrous start. Trea Turner is having a career year. We might be witnessing a Ryan Zimmerman renaissance.
For all those reasons, Scherzer is firmly off the table right now, and probably will be through July 31. If the Dodgers want to bolster the rotation in some way, they’ll have to look toward Kyle Gibson or Michael Pineda most likely.