The Dodgers caught the Giants in the NL West standings just in time for their colossal three-game series in Los Angeles this weekend.
Dave Roberts’ side went on an absolute tear in the month of August, going a ridiculous 21-6 to close the gap on San Francisco.
The Dodgers have some of their trade deadline acquisitions to thank for that surge. However, no addition has made a bigger impact than Max Scherzer, who’s 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 50 strikeouts since he arrived in LA. The team has won every game he’s started.
Though Scherzer has been a godsend for the Dodgers’ decimated rotation, fans want to know if he’ll be remaining in LA after the 2021 campaign.
We haven’t heard a peep in terms of whether the Dodgers have initiated negotiations with Scherzer, and the three-time Cy Young winner sparked even more questions when he dodged a question about his future with the club.
Max Scherzer refused to commit to a future with the Dodgers.
"“The best part is, I don’t have to answer that,” Scherzer told am570 in Los Angeles this week. “There was an element that I could have used the trade deadline as an extension talk, but for me, I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to make it like free agency at the deadline. I just wanted – If I was going to get traded – to go to another team and just try to win.”"
That’s odd, because rumors leading up to the trade deadline indicated Scherzer, though he wanted to be dealt to a contender, would only approve a trade if he had an extension lined up with his new team.
Perhaps Scherzer and the Dodgers both agreed to postpone negotiations until the offseason after the trade was complete? After all, Los Angeles is currently in the middle of an epic division race, so creating a potential distraction — especially when Scherzer has been lights out — would make very little sense.
It’s also smart of Scherzer not to overplay his hand ahead of free agency. If Dodgers knew they were the only team in the running for his signature, that could potentially drive his price tag down a bit. On the flip side, if LA was competing with other suitors on the open market, Scherzer’s value would increase exponentially.
At 37 years old, this will be Scherzer’s last chance to ink a lucrative contract. While we don’t doubt he’s interested in returning to the Dodgers — he’s made for the big stage, the fans love him, and they love to overpay star players — you can’t fault him for keeping his options open, even if it’s just a tactical move.
Given he’s represented by Scott Boras, this news isn’t all that surprising.