The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the 2021 MLB trade deadline. It’s not up for debate, unfortunately.
Earlier on Thursday, it looked grim. Reports suggested the division-rival San Diego Padres had acquired Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals, further bolstering their rotation while leaving LA barren.
Oh, but how the turn tables…
That deal was never officially agreed upon. There were “obstacles” to overcome. And apparently they never were.
A few hours later came the Dodgers with the haymaker of all haymakers. Not only did they swipe Scherzer right from under the Pads, but they added shortstop Trea Turner to sweeten the pot.
When’s the last time we’ve seen a trade of this magnitude? Earth-shattering.
The Dodgers have acquired Max Scherzer and Trea Turner via trade.
The implications? They’re quite insane. First of all, this now creates a position issue with shortstop Corey Seager expected to return soon. Turner did come up to the bigs as a center fielder due to the presence of Danny Espinosa in Washington at the time, so perhaps the Dodgers take that route.
But this perhaps holds more weight for next season. Seager is a free agent after this year while Turner is signed through 2022. Is this the succession plan in the event the Dodgers can’t come to terms with Seager and Scott Boras? Or is the writing on the wall right now?
OR! Are they just going to keep the both of them and roll with Turner in the outfield? We don’t know, but there are many scenarios to consider. Friday, it seems Turner will play second if Seager returns. Everything is wild.
And what about Gavin Lux? If Turner takes over center, Cody Bellinger moves to first base and Seager takes over at short when he returns, what’s his role? He’s not taking playing time away from Max Muncy.
As for Scherzer, he’ll stabilize the Dodgers’ rotation following the losses of Dustin May and Trevor Bauer. No-brainer. The question marks surrounding Clayton Kershaw are concerning, but the Dodgers have more relief on the way in the form of Danny Duffy. That’ll do.
LA will be faced with another contract conundrum in the offseason with Scherzer, too, since he’ll be a free agent. You’d have to imagine the Dodgers would want to keep him, given he’s a three-time Cy Young winner and still has a lot left in the tank … and because Kershaw will be a free agent, too.
And the package is here.
The Nationals will get the Dodgers top two prospects in catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray, both of whom are among the best in baseball. The stars really aligned for this one, regardless of the two other mid-range prospects the Nats get in the deal. Washington wanted to build around superstar Juan Soto without having to wait too long.
Both Ruiz and Gray have made their MLB debuts and should be ready to rock on a full-time basis by next year. Add in a few more trades before the deadline (the Nats have a ton of rentals ready to dump) and in the offseason as well as a few free agents, and general manager Mike Rizzo might have this team right back in contention.
But right now, Friedman is king. Kicking Pads GM AJ Preller into the garbage chute has upended the entire 2021 season.