Red Sox Rumors: Ownership pushing for Max Scherzer trade

WASHINGTON DC - JULY 02: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the second inning during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on July 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON DC - JULY 02: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the second inning during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on July 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Boston Sox ownership would sign off on a Max Scherzer deal

Boston Red Sox fans are clamoring for their team to make a blockbuster deal for Max Scherzer as the MLB trade deadline approaches. Apparently, the team’s ownership group shares the same goal.

According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Red Sox ownership is encouraging chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom to make a push for Scherzer, as they’re dreaming of Chris Sale and Scherzer joining the starting rotation. Now that’s a two-headed monster that should strike fear into any opponent!

Sale is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery but he’s shown encouraging progress during his rehab assignment and could rejoin the Red Sox rotation within the next couple of weeks. Pair him with Scherzer and Boston enters the home stretch of the season as the favorites in the American League.

Scherzer was selected to his eighth All-Star team this year. He’s 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 through 18 starts for the Washington Nationals.

The three-time Cy Young award winner is the most coveted pitcher on the trade market with a long list of interested suitors. The veteran has a complete no-trade clause as a player with 10 years of MLB service and five consecutive with the same club. Previous reports from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicated that Scherzer’s preference was to land with one of the NL West contenders – the Dodgers, Giants or Padres. Winning is his top priority though so it’s hard to see Scherzer blocking a deal to the first-place Red Sox in they present the best offer.

Topping the package that any of those three NL West clubs could potentially offer might be difficult considering they each have deeper farm systems. Bloom has done a remarkable job of restocking their minor league assets but Boston’s farm system still rates in the bottom half.

Having more to offer doesn’t necessarily mean those teams will put their best assets on the table for Scherzer, who will be a free-agent after the season. Bloom would also be hesitant to part with his best trade chips for a rental but the circumstances might help level the playing field.

Money will naturally be a factor for a player earning $35 million in the final season of a seven-year, $210 million contract. The bulk of his 2021 salary is deferred to 2028 so he comes with an annual luxury tax hit of just under $30 million, which drops to just over $10 million for the prorated remainder of the contract that an acquiring team would be responsible for.

The Red Sox are already pushing up against the tax threshold so this report at the very least signals that ownership has signed off on paying the penalty in order to add Scherzer to their rotation. John Henry’s group drew the ire of Red Sox Nation in recent years for slashing payroll in order to reset the dreaded tax penalties but with a realistic shot to contend this year, fans will be relieved to hear that money won’t be an obstacle.

The Dodgers are already expected to land in the top-tier of penalties and would be charged a 62.5 percent tax on the overage absorbed by Scherzer’s salary. The Padres are barely over the threshold and have explored ways to dip back under but they can forget about that if they make a deal for the Nationals ace.

The Giants could take on Scherzer’s remaining salary without venturing into tax territory but they still need to be willing to add a significant chunk to their payroll. The Tampa Bay Rays have surprisingly shown interest as well. This is a team that traded away one of their best pitchers in Rich Hill because they felt they had sufficient rotation depth and needed to save a little money after dealing for Nelson Cruz. How will they manage to squeeze Scherzer onto their payroll?

For what it’s worth, Bowden projects the Red Sox to have the best odds in the American League to land Scherzer, trailing only the Dodgers and Giants. If he doesn’t come to Boston, at least keeping him in the National League would be a minor victory.

The Red Sox rotation has exceeded expectations this year and has enviable depth before we even factor in Sale’s impending return. It’s tough to pass up on the chance to add one of the best pitchers in the game though, a workhorse who is proven on the postseason stage.

Next. Santana is the ideal first base upgrade. dark

It remains to be seen if Bloom will offer a package enticing enough to outbid the other suitors but if ownership is pushing for him to make it happen then we can expect the Red Sox to remain firmly in the mix.