2. Max Scherzer for Clarke Schmidt and 2 Prospects
We tried to add a little something to Washington’s side in this ideal deadline deal, but there’s just … not much on that roster we’d like to pluck. Taking on Kyle Schwarber’s financial burden? Unpleasant. Adding another rotation piece (Joe Ross)…? Does that move the needle?
We’ve had our eye on Scherzer since his 2014 free agency, and we’re not giving up now. In fact, we’ll address this again when he hits free agency again following this season, and the Yankees have the chance to toss him a two-year pillow contract to be Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino’s running mate with championship pedigree.
This time around, though it’s not the same level of blockbuster, the Yankees should be more than willing to center a Scherzer package around Schmidt. Now 25, there’s a lot to like about the powerful righty … except we’ve rarely seen him on the field. He entered the organization while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, he lost what was supposed to be a full season at Double-A in 2020, and he succumbed to an elbow issue in what was basically the first bullpen session of 2021. We’d rather he thrive in pinstripes than elsewhere, but at this point, you cannot bank on his uncertainty when you might be able to obtain Scherzer in the final summer of his current deal.
It would’ve been nice to make this a blockbuster of some kind, but instead, it’s just a referendum on the Yankees’ collection of fringy, injury-prone prospects. If they’re in a somewhat more stable place and could contend by midsummer with an extra push … then if not now, when?