1. Max Scherzer
I mean … asking about a Yankees-Max Scherzer trade was fanciful to begin with, but we just couldn’t get it out of our heads that the spiraling Nationals would surely trade him somewhere, it wouldn’t be us, we’d get angry, and the deal would swing a title run Verlander-style.
But then something funny happened along the way towards us getting preemptively mad about the Yankees passing on his hefty salary: the Nationals got good again.
Washington is charging hard in the NL East while waiting for Stephen Strasburg to return. Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber have hit another level, putting their molasses Aprils in the rearview mirror (the Yankees welcomed them to the stadium at the right time). Scherzer, who grabbed headlines for his sticky feud with Joe Girardi that spilled into a gladiator battle on the infield grass in Philly, has pitched as well as he ever has, striking out 112 in 82.1 innings this season.
We’re not giving up the fight here by any means. Scherzer will still be a free agent after this season, and the Yankees — post-luxury tax and mid-negotiations for the new CBA — should show up to his doorstep with Andy Pettitte and whatever bottle of wine swayed Gerrit Cole in his negotiations. Even at age 37, Scherzer is still extremely worth wooing at a high AAV for two or three more years.
Scherzer’s choice of his next destination might very well be title-swinging, but that decision will not come this summer. We don’t need to worry about the Yankees letting the Astros get Mad Max, all the while pridefully touting their luxury tax numbers … we don’t think.