Yankees: 3 rival trade scenarios that would be nightmares for NYY

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Pitcher Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

2. Max Scherzer to the Astros

Yup … another one with Scherzer. We apologize for the redundancy, but the Houston Astros are reportedly in on the right-hander (and aggressively so), which makes this all the more nerve-wracking. Also, while the Rays likely won’t strike a deal for Scherzer, it’s much easier to envision that nightmare rather than wondering what two replacement-level players they’ll insert and immediately groom into Yankee killers.

Perhaps even more dangerous, though, is Scherzer going to the Astros, who appear to be the bonafide AL powerhouse. They’ve weathered an intense injury storm. They lost George Springer. They have had guys like Luis Garcia, Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi step in and get the job done for a rotation that’s missing Justin Verlander. Their bullpen has largely unrecognizable names but has held opponents to a .228 average (12-best in MLB) and struck out 369 batters (also 12th in MLB).

They won’t go away. They might never go away. And they’ll exist to troll the Yankees for the foreseeable future. Somehow, Houston holds the narrative of owning them this year despite being 2-4 in their six contests! That’s just how it goes.

So for them to acquire Scherzer — who is a guy the Yankees absolutely need in their largely broken rotation right now and should have signed nearly seven years ago — would be among the most emphatic backhands across the face. Remember when the Astros swiped Gerrit Cole from the Yankees in that weak trade with the Pirates? Remember Michael Brantley reportedly wanted to come to the Yankees this offseason but … the Yankees said no and he went back to Houston?

Yeah, we really can’t afford another morale-breaking trade/transaction of this magnitude.