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MLB Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Surrounding Max Scherzer, Jose Ramirez, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 26, 2021

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer delivers a pitch during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, July 18, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals' latest losing run put them eight games back of first place in the National League East.

And their position in the days prior to Friday's trade deadline will be monitored closely because of the potential availability of Max Scherzer.

If the veteran is made available, he will be the most coveted player on the trade market and every team with a pitching need should at least inquire about his services.

The New York Mets, who are in first place in the NL East, will reportedly inquire about Scherzer even though the Nationals may be hesitant to make such a significant deal within the division.

Although Cleveland sits in second place in the American League Central, it is further away from first place than the Nationals are in the NL East.

Since the Chicago White Sox are running away with the AL Central, some of the top buyers could contact Cleveland about Jose Ramirez and other players.

At the moment, Cleveland does not appear ready to deal Ramirez because of the high demands set by the franchise.

                                

Latest Trade Buzz

Max Scherzer

Nick Wass/Associated Press

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets "will inquire" about Scherzer.

Martino reported that the Nationals "are discussing" the eight-time All-Star in trade talks across the league.

Scherzer, who turns 37 on Tuesday, is an intriguing trade chip because of his experience and contract status. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season.

New York already made one deal to acquire Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays, but in order to compete with the teams from NL West, it needs to have as deep of a staff as possible.

Scherzer, who has been with Washington since 2015, has a 7-4 record, 2.83 ERA and 142 strikeouts over 18 outings in 2021. He owns a 12-5 career record against the Mets and has a 2.08 career ERA over 13 starts inside Citi Field.

The Mets could face a bigger hurdle in acquiring Scherzer because they play in the same division as the Nationals. However, Washington might not be able to drive up the price too much on New York since Scherzer is a free agent at the end of the season.

If New York gets Jacob deGrom off the 10-day injured list, it could have a one-two punch with him and Scherzer that might challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres or San Francisco Giants in a potential playoff series.

If Scherzer lands in the Big Apple, the Mets could approach a playoff series with deGrom, Scherzer, Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker and Hill.

Since Scherzer is such a big-name player, the Mets should face plenty of competition for him on the trade market. Almost any team in a contending position might check in with the Nationals to see what the price is.

                 

Jose Ramirez

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Jose Ramirez is in a much different contract situation than Scherzer, which makes him harder to deal.

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, "there aren't active talks between Cleveland and other MLB clubs."

Morosi mentioned the high demands for Ramirez that kept negotiations off the table entering Monday. The third baseman has team options for 2022 and 2023.

Ramirez has 20 home runs and 57 RBI with a .854 OPS for Cleveland this season. He now has at least 20 home runs in four of the last five seasons. The team is well within its rights to hold on to him until the offseason, where it may get a more favorable deal.

There also may be a limited number of contenders that show interest in the 28-year-old. Houston, Oakland, San Diego and Boston are among those with established stars on the left side of the infield.

The high asking price combined with the small number of suitors should keep Ramirez in Ohio for the rest of the season.

In the best-case scenario, Cleveland could hold on to Ramirez and make a potential wild-card push. It enters Monday five games out of the second wild-card position.

                

Whit Merrifield

Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The Kansas City Royals are definitely out of the AL Central race and could turn into a seller at the trade deadline.

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Seattle Mariners are "making a push" to bring in Whit Merrifield from the Royals.

Kansas City is 16 games back of the White Sox in the AL Central and 12 games adrift of the second wild-card position.

With Bobby Witt Jr. now at Triple-A, the Royals may be inclined to gather more prospects to put around their top minor league player for the years to come.

The 32-year-old is under contract until 2023, so any team that would trade for him may have to give up a bit more to compensate for the contract.

Merrifield has 105 hits and 52 RBI for the Royals in 97 games. He could play second base or the outfield, which makes him an intriguing fit in the Mariners lineup.

If that deal goes down, Seattle could put Merrifield and J.P. Crawford in front of Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager to set up the two sluggers for more run-producing opportunities.

It is just 1.5 games back of the Oakland Athletics for the final AL wild-card spot. If it makes an addition or two, it could go head-to-head with its divisional rival throughout August and September.

             

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.