Phillies: Scherzer leaving the NL East is a huge win

Apr 27, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly acquiring Max Scherzer and Trea Turner benefits the Philadelphia Phillies in a big way.

The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t made a single trade so far this week, but through no cost or effort on their part, have just been handed a huge win in the form of the Dodgers acquiring Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals.

As most expected, Thursday afternoon’s Game 1 of the doubleheader was Mad Max’s last start in a Nationals uniform; Ken Rosenthal announced the trade hours later.

Scherzer is almost certainly a first-ballot Hall of Famer already; he’s won three Cy Young Awards, has been an All-Star every year since 2013, and was a central figure in the National’s first and only World Series championship in 2019. He’s led MLB in complete games, shutouts, and strikeouts twice in his career, including a 300-strikeout season.

This season, the 14-year veteran has a 2.83 ERA (bad by his standards) over 18 starts. He’s struck out 142 batters over 105 innings, has a 0.886 WHIP, and a 3.47 FIP. At 37 years old, he’s still one of the fiercest competitors in the game, and the Phillies offense is definitely glad to see him going to the other side of the country.

This trade means that although the Phillies and Nationals have two more matchups in August to round out the season series, the Phillies’ schedule just got even easier. They will, however, host the Dodgers for three games beginning on August 10, and could see Scherzer during that three-game set.

The Phillies are far from the only team happy with this trade. The Boston Red Sox have to be glad Scherzer won’t join their division on the Tampa Bay Rays or New York Yankees (though Scherzer said no to the Bronx). Unfortunately for the Phillies, this deal also makes the New York Mets’ schedule easier. You win some, you lose some.

Scherzer is a free agent after this season, and most people predict that this trade was an agreement between the ace and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: the Nats trade Scherzer for a bundle so he has a chance to win another chip, and then they bring him back next year so he can finish out his career in DC. It makes the most sense for both parties.

Meanwhile, there are less than 24 hours left before the trade deadline at 4 PM EST on Friday, and the Phillies have done absolutely nothing. But by the transitive property, they should take this as a win.

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