MLB Rumors: Top Trade Buzz on Max Scherzer, Jose Berrios and Brusdar Graterol

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18:  Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the third inning during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on July 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With Friday's MLB trade deadline approaching, rumors are piling up regarding some of the biggest names believed to be on the trade block.

Some significant trades have already been made, but there are still plenty of impact players who could be had for the right price.

As teams make their final determinations on whether they are buyers or sellers, here is a look at the latest rumors surrounding some of the top stars who could be on the move.

Max Scherzer

With the Washington Nationals continuing to fall out of playoff contention, longtime ace Max Scherzer may be on the precipice of a move elsewhere.

Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and New York Mets are all known to have interest in Scherzer.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic then reported that the Dodgers, Giants and Padres are the most likely landing spots since Scherzer would prefer to play for a contender on the West Coast.

Rosenthal also noted that the Nats would like to get a framework for a deal in place well before the 4 p.m. ET deadline so any details can be worked out, including Scherzer's no-trade clause.

Since the 37-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, there isn't much reason for the Nationals to keep him, unless they believe they can sign him to a new deal.

The best move from Washington's perspective would likely be to trade Scherzer since the heavy interest in him figures to land the Nationals a solid package of prospects in return.

Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young Award winner, and he has been named an All-Star in each of the past eight seasons the All-Star Game has been played.

He is pitching at a high level again this season as well, posting a 7-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 105 innings.

Scherzer could be an instant game-changer for any team that acquires him, especially if he goes to one of the NL West teams. The Dodgers, Giants and Padres are all battling for supremacy, and Scherzer could be the piece that tilts the race in favor of one of them.

Making him even more valuable to a World Series contender is the fact that Scherzer played a big role in Washington winning the World Series just two seasons ago.

Regardless of where he goes, it seems likely Scherzer will be moved, as the Nats are eight games out of first place in the NL East and would be wise to start building for the future.

Jose Berrios

If Scherzer is the biggest prize on the trade market among starting pitchers, Minnesota Twins righty Jose Berrios may be next in line.

Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Thursday that trade offers for Berrios have "spiked" in recent days as teams look to add impact players ahead of the deadline.

One team believed to be in the market for Berrios is the Seattle Mariners. According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Mariners have discussed a possible trade for Berrios, but the Twins want one of Seattle's top young starting pitchers in Emerson Hancock or George Kirby back as part of the trade package.

Morosi noted that no trade between the Twins and Mariners is imminent as of yet.

Berrios, 27, is a two-time All-Star who is having a strong statistical year for a Twins team that has largely struggled as a whole.

In 20 starts, Berrios is 7-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, plus 126 strikeouts over 121.2 innings.

During his six-year MLB career, Berrios boasts a lifetime ERA of 4.08 and 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Berrios is the type of power arm who could bolster any rotation and is under team control through 2022, so he wouldn't be a rental.

The Twins are out of it with a 43-60 record this season, but at 55-48, the Mariners are still in the playoff mix.

Seattle is just two games out of the final wild-card spot in the American League, and given that the Mariners haven't made the playoffs since 2001, it is understandable why they may want to make a splashy move.

Brusdar Graterol

Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol is reportedly on the radar of teams that are looking to make bullpen improvements.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Dodgers could consider dealing Graterol as they attempt to upgrade other positions.

The 22-year-old is a hard-throwing sinkerballer who played a big role in L.A. winning the World Series last season, although 2021 has been a struggle.

Graterol has posted a 6.43 ERA in just eight games for the Dodgers because of injuries and getting sent down to Triple-A.

Last season, Graterol made 23 appearances, going 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. He also had a strong showing in the playoffs, posting a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings.

One issue with Graterol is the fact that he doesn't strike out many batters. He has just five strikeouts in seven innings this season and had 13 in 23.1 innings last season.

Because of that, Graterol is at the mercy of the defense behind him most of the time, and the fact that he has a 2.58 FIP compared to a 6.43 ERA this season suggests he has been quite unlucky.

Graterol is a candidate to put up much better numbers for the remainder of the season, but with the Dodgers looking to beat out both the Giants and Padres in the NL West, trading him may be a worthwhile option if it brings in significant help elsewhere.