The Los Angeles Dodgers have completed a trade to acquire Washington Nationals superstar starting pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner. Trade rumors have been swirling around the three-time Cy Young Award winner all summer long. Scherzer is in the final year of a seven-year contract with the Nationals. The Nationals are in fourth place in the NL East and are seven and a half games behind the first-place New York Mets. With Stephen Strasburg undergoing season-ending surgery for Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the Nationals’ chances at making a playoff run this season are seemingly bleak. So, the Nationals are selling high on one of the best arms in baseball in Scherzer. In addition, the Nationals are sending shortstop Trea Turner to the Dodgers.
Dodgers Acquire Max Scherzer, Trea Turner from Nationals
Max Scherzer made a name for himself on the Detroit Tigers where he won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award. In that 2013 year, Scherzer pitched to a 2.74 ERA, 0.970 WHIP, and struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings. He also amassed 240 strikeouts versus only 56 walks in 214 1/3 innings, which amounted to walking 2.4 batters per nine innings. But as good as Scherzer was in the American League, he may be better-known from the National League.
In the National League, Scherzer won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2016-17 and has been an All-Star six times. A likely Hall of Fame inductee when his career is over, Scherzer led the NL in strikeouts three consecutive years from 2016-18. In addition, Max led the league in WHIP during those same three years. He led the NL in strikeouts per nine innings twice and once in the AL. Scherzer led the National League in complete games three times and shutouts twice. He has also led both leagues twice in wins. LA is acquiring a full-fledged superstar in Scherzer.
Max Scherzer had 10/5 rights, which means that he has to approve any trade involving him. Players earn this when they have been in the majors for 10 years and have played in the majors for five consecutive years with the same club. Scherzer, obviously, approved the trade to the Dodgers.
Trea Turner, SS
Trea Turner is a 28-year-old shortstop who has a record of producing on the offensive side of the ball. Turner’s career slash line is .300/.356/.486 with an OPS of .842. But Turner is also known for his speed. In 2018, Trea stole 43 bases for the Nationals to lead the National League. In his career, Turner has stolen 192 bases. This tool may not be utilized as much on the Dodgers as it was on the Nationals in terms of stealing bases, but speed is always useful. There is one caveat to the acquisition of Trea Turner: he was placed on the COVID-19 IL on Thursday, so he will be required to quarantine and test negative several times prior to joining the Dodgers.
Turner was an All-Star for the first time in his career this season. He currently has a slash line of .322/.369/.521 and has an OPS of .890. In addition, Trea has 18 home runs, three triples, 17 doubles, 49 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. He is expected to play second base for the Dodgers. In Turner’s seven seasons, he has played at the second base position in 42 games across two of those seasons. He has also played 45 games in the outfield, so the Dodgers will be able to move him around the field if needed. Turner is eligible for arbitration after this season and can be a free agent after next season.
Nationals Acquire Josiah Gray from Dodgers for Max Scherzer, Turner
Josiah Gray is a 23-year-old righty that has excellent control for a pitcher his age. Gray is a recent addition to the Dodgers big-league club. He has amassed a 6.75 ERA and struck out 14.6 batters while walking 5.6 batters per nine innings. These numbers are up from the minor leagues. For the Dodgers in 2019, Gray pitched in A, high-A, and double-A. His strikeouts per nine innings never dropped below 9.4 and his walks per nine innings never rose above 2.7. Combined, Josiah pitched to a 2.28 ERA, 0.992 WHIP, and struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings in 2019. The one issue that Gray needs to work on is the number of home runs that he gives up. In eight innings this year, Josiah has already given up four home runs in the big leagues.
Nationals Acquire Additional Prospects from Dodgers for Max Scherzer, Turner
Keibert Ruiz, the number 16 prospect as rated by Baseball America, is heading to Washington with Gray. Ruiz is a catcher who was in the Dodgers’ AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City. He recently made news when he went 4-for-4 on July 24th with three home runs and five RBI. He also had a double and walk during the game. Ruiz is destroying AAA pitching this season, amassing a .310/.379/.624 slash line in 52 games. The 22-year-old also has 16 home runs, 18 doubles, 46 RBI, and 23 walks against only 27 strikeouts in 210 at-bats. But with Austin Barnes and Will Smith blocking Ruiz at the major league level, Ruiz has not had much of an opportunity in the big leagues.
Donovan Casey, OF
Donovan Casey is a right-handed outfielder in the Dodgers AA affiliate in Tulsa. The 25-year-old has batted to a .296/.362/.462 slash line and an .824 OPS this season. Casey also has 11 home runs, 15 doubles, one triple, 36 RBI, 51 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Casey’s numbers this season are right on par with his numbers for his career in the minor leagues. The Dodgers drafted Casey in the 20th round of the 2017 draft out of Boston College.
Gerardo Carrillo, SP
Gerardo Carrillo is a 22-year-old righty in the Dodgers AA affiliate in Tulsa. In 14 starts this season, Carrillo pitched to a 4.25 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine innings. His WHIP is 1.315, but he has only allowed 1.4 home runs per nine innings. In 59 1/3 innings, Carrillo struck out 70 batters while walking 29. Carrillo was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dodgers in 2016.
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