The New York Mets plan to approach the Washington Nationals about a trade for Max Scherzer prior to Friday's deadline, according to SNY's Andy Martino.
Martino reported there's a level of skepticism around MLB that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would pull the trigger on a deal to aid a team within the National League East.
The Nationals are eight games behind the first-place Mets and 11 games out of the second wild-card spot in the NL. Since Scherzer is due to become a free agent in the offseason, it wouldn't be that surprising if he's moved prior to August.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Washington was looking into being a buyer or seller and that the three-time Cy Young winner was among the players discussed.
Scherzer is enjoying another strong season. He's 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 3.47 FIP through 18 starts, per Baseball Reference. He's also averaging 12.2 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per nine innings.
The Mets already added Rich Hill, but Scherzer would be a big upgrade to New York's already formidable rotation. Jacob deGrom's trip to the injured list with right forearm tightness may give the front office more motivation to add an elite arm.
Under different circumstances, Rizzo's stance would make sense. You don't want to make yourself worse while simultaneously strengthening a division rival if you can avoid it.
But FanGraphs gives the Nationals a 1.3 chance of making the playoffs.
The door to the postseason is closing fast for Washington, and trading Scherzer to New York doesn't preclude the team from re-signing him or guarantee he sign with the Mets.
Given his contract status, the Nats don't have a ton of leverage in negotiations. If the Mets can put together an attractive trade package, then Rizzo would be foolish not to listen.