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Los Angeles Dodgers finalizing trade for Max Scherzer, Trea Turner in blockbuster

Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Scherzer trade
Jul 8, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The National League West arms race is in full bloom. That now includes the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers acquiring stud pitcher Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in a huge blockbuster.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report that a deal was being finalized. This came mere hours after initial reports suggested that the San Diego Padres were close to acquiring the three-time Cy Young award winner.

Scherzer is entering the final year of his contract, and the blockbuster deal comes with the understanding that he’ll be with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the long haul on a lucrative extension after the 2021 campaign.

It had been reported in the preceding days that Max Scherzer preferred any of the NL West’s contenders as his trade destination. The San Francisco Giants and aforementioned Padres had to be left with a sour taste in their mouths after Scherzer was dealt to Los Angeles.

In addition to sporting a solid 8-4 record with a 2.76 ERA this season, Scherzer is an eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner and helped the Nationals to a World Series in 2019. He will fill the role of Trevor Bauer in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation with the latter currently on administrative leave following troubling sexual assault allegations.

As for Turner, he brings a tremendous bat and veteran experience to the mix for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thus far this season, the 28-year-old Turner is hitting .320 with 18 homers and 49 RBI while boasting a .887 OPS and leading the league in total bases with 201.

Washington Nationals return in Max Scherzer trade

Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Scherzer
Jul 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say, Washington was able to pick up a load of premium prospects in moving two of the biggest players from their 2018 World Series championship team.

That includes the top-two prospects in the Dodgers’ farm system ahead of the trade, catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray. Both represent pretty much Major League-ready target.

Ruiz has seen action in eight games with the Dodgers over the past two seasons. He’s also raking to the tune of a .311 average with 16 homers and 45 RBI at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. Meanwhile, Gray is seen as a potential front line starter moving forward.

Washington also received outfield prospect Donovan Casey and another starting pitcher in Gerardo Carrillo for Max Scherzer. Carrillo was ranked 17th among Dodgers prospects at the time of the trade while Casey is considered a mid-tier prospect.