Brewers Trade Rumors: Strong odds to land a 3-time Cy Young winner?

Jul 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s Trade Deadline season and the trade rumors surrounding the Milwaukee Brewers are swirling. The latest of which has them making a big splash.

After faltering in recent weeks, the Washington Nationals are in sell mode. That means that there’s more players on the market for contending teams to buy, and there’s one player that’s already been connected to the Brewers.

His name is Max Scherzer.

Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer could be available in a trade and the Milwaukee Brewers are one of the betting favorites to acquire him at the 2021 Trade Deadline.

According to Bet Online, the Brewers have the third-best betting odds to land Max Scherzer in a trade before the deadline, behind the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bet Online gives Milwaukee 15/4 odds to acquire the future Hall of Famer.

Dan Sileo, of the Dan Sileo Show on USA Radio Networks, says the Brewers may be the industry favorites to acquire Scherzer.

Why would the Brewers be interested in a Max Scherzer trade?

The Brewers starting rotation is already very strong, both in depth and quality of frontline starters. With a trio of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta leading the way, Milwaukee should have enough starting pitching to be dangerous in a postseason series. So they don’t exactly need help.

But one of the things this group lacks is high quality postseason experience. All three of Woodruff, Burnes, and Peralta were in the bullpen the last time the Brewers made a run in the postseason in 2018. Starting games is a whole different animal.

Scherzer brings a plethora of experience, not only in the regular season, but postseason experience. Scherzer has started World Series games, and has done well in them. He made two huge starts for the Nationals in 2019 to help them win the title.

Having someone of a similar caliber as Woodruff/Burnes/Peralta with years of experience in the league and in the postseason who doesn’t need innings management would be huge for Milwaukee.

As we go through the rest of the regular season and postseason, all three of the Brewers current top guys will need extra rest and innings management. That could lead to extra reliance on the bullpen down the stretch. Of course, bullpen help would still be a need with a Scherzer acquisition, but it would help solve one of the only concerns with this rotation: innings management.

What could a Max Scherzer trade cost the Milwaukee Brewers?

The difficult part is gauging what it would cost to acquire Max Scherzer. Based on name value alone, one would think the price would be one of the Brewers very top prospects, plus one or two more, at least. That may or may not be the case.

There is not a lot of quality starting pitching available at the Trade Deadline this year. Scherzer being available makes him the best one on the market, and several teams will be trying to acquire him, which could create a bidding war.

However, Scherzer is also a rental, becoming a free agent at the end of the season. So the starting price won’t be that high and most front offices nowadays are principled enough to not make massive overpays for rentals, even in bidding wars. That goes for the Brewers, but it also goes for the Dodgers and Mets and everyone else involved in a Scherzer Sweepstakes as well.

It’s likely the Nationals will try to push for one of the Aaron Ashby/Ethan Small/Antoine Kelly trio of lefties in the Brewers system to headline with perhaps one more lower level prospect paired with. There’s a strong chance the Brewers will try to push them on to someone like a Freddy Zamora or Zavier Warren, or perhaps even a Joe Gray Jr to headline instead.

But if the Nationals are giving up pitching, odds are they’re going to want some pitching in return, although with the state of their farm system, they can use whatever prospect help they can get.

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Will this end up happening for Milwaukee? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s exactly the type of unconventional move tries to make. By strengthening what’s already strong, perhaps they can power their way to a World Series title.