Dodgers, Nationals Rotation, Lineup, Payroll After Scherzer, Turner Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner (7) walks to the dugout during a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Amid their ongoing struggles, the Washington Nationals are looking toward their future after reportedly trading shortstop Trea Turner and ace Max Scherzer to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster move. 

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Nationals will receive a package of four prospects that include right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray, catcher Keibert Ruiz, right-handed pitcher Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donovan Casey in exchange for sending Scherzer and Turner to Los Angeles. 

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

The #Dodgers payroll now is roughly a cool $275 million with Scherzer and Turner coming aboard.

Moving Turner and Scherzer saves the Nationals around $16.5 million for the rest of this season. Their payroll currently stands at $128.16 million, per Spotrac

Dodgers Starting Lineup, Pitching Rotation

C: Austin Barnes

1B: Albert Pujols

2B: Max Muncy

3B: Justin Turner

SS: Chris Taylor

RF: Billy McKinney

CF: Cody Bellinger

LF: A.J. Pollock

No. 1 Starter: Max Scherzer

No. 2 Starter: Walker Buehler

No. 3 Starter: Julio Urias

No. 4 Starter: Tony Gonsolin 

No. 5 Starter: David Price

Nationals Lineup, Starting Rotation

C: Keibert Ruiz

1B: Josh Bell

2B: Josh Harrison

3B: Carter Kieboom

SS: Alcides Escobar

LF: Yadiel Hernandez

CF: Andrew Stevenson

RF: Juan Soto

No. 1 Starter: Joe Ross

No. 2 Starter: Jon Lester

No. 3 Starter: Patrick Corbin

No. 4 Starter: Erick Fedde

No. 5 Starter: Josiah Gray

In addition to the potential deal with the Dodgers, Robert Murray of FanSided reported that Washington will send Kyle Schwarber to the Boston Red Sox

Selling was absolutely the right move for the Nationals at this point, especially given the return for Scherzer and Turner. Ruiz and Gray are the top two prospects in Los Angeles' system, per MLB.com

Gray recently made his MLB debut with the Dodgers on July 20. The 23-year-old has a 6.75 ERA, but that's only in two appearances covering eight innings. 

Ruiz has appeared in eight games dating back to last season. He's 3-for-15 with two homers and two RBI in his brief MLB tenure. 

In addition to Scherzer and Turner, the Dodgers roster could look very different in the next week or two with injured players on the verge of returning. 

Fabian Ardaya @FabianArdaya

So there’s a chance the Dodgers add the following players over the next week or so: Max Scherzer Trea Turner Corey Seager (back tomorrow) Mookie Betts (eligible on Sunday) Clayton Kershaw (could be back 8/7 vs. LAA)

The Nationals did have Turner under control through next season before he could become a free agent, but their roster is in a precarious state now. He established himself as a key piece of Washington's recent run of success, including a victory in the 2019 World Series. 

Washington was able to work out a one-year deal worth $7.45 million with Turner in 2020 to avoid arbitration. The 28-year-old said he was open to working out a long-term extension with the organization. 

"If the deal's right, if I like it, I'm not scared to take it," he told NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas in January 2020. "Same thing, if it's not right, I'm not going to settle. Everyone I think knows their worth, [they] at least think they're worth somethingwhatever that is, high, low, willing to take less or try to get more."

The Nationals dealt with a series of injuries this season, including Stephen Strasburg undergoing another season-ending surgery in July to repair a neck issue. 

Things haven't gone as planned for Washington so far in 2021 with a 47-55 record, though Turner hasn't been a problem. He is hitting .322/.369/.521 with 18 homers and 21 stolen bases. 

The Nationals haven't been afraid to spend money, though most of their resources are invested in pitching. General manager Mike Rizzo was able to re-sign Strasburg (seven years, $245 million) in December 2019 and sign free agents like Scherzer (seven years, $210 million) and Patrick Corbin (six years, $140 million). 

Rizzo has often allowed Washington's marquee position players to leave, with Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon being the two most notable recent examples.

Rather than wait for Turner to hit the free-agent market, though, Rizzo decided to make a move in order to acquire long-term assets for the future. 

The Dodgers have acquired one of the most dynamic offensive players in Major League Baseball and an ace who can anchor any starting rotation in a playoff series.