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How Dodgers' blockbuster for Scherzer, Turner impacts Giants

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Trea Turner and Max Scherzer

If you take a step back and think about how everyone felt on April 1, Thursday's developments are pretty funny. 

The Giants were supposed to be the biggest seller before the July 30 trade deadline, with a rotation full of one-year contracts and a lineup filled with aging stars who will hit free agency in three months. Instead, they have played such good and consistent baseball since Opening Day that both of their rivals spent the entire day Thursday chasing the best starting pitcher available. 

After a few hours of San Diego Padres rumors, the Los Angeles Dodgers -- as they have so often in recent years -- secured the blockbuster. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman not only reportedly pulled Max Scherzer away from San Diego's A.J. Preller, but he convinced the Nationals to throw superstar shortstop Trea Turner into the deal, too. 

The reported trade was costly, with catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray going back to the Nationals, along with two other prospects. Ruiz is ranked 16th in Baseball America's latest top 100 and Gray, who made his debut against the Giants last week, comes in at No. 59. 

The Giants don't have an exact comparison to that package, because while Ruiz and Joey Bart just about match up, they don't quite have a Gray. Logan Webb isn't much older, is throwing much better right now, and might ultimately end up being better, but the industry never viewed him as a top 100 prospect, so it's hard to know how exactly the Nationals might value him. The Giants aren't inclined to trade him anyway, as he's the only current starter under team control past this season. 

 

A package could have been put together, perhaps using Bart and Heliot Ramos as the centerpieces, but it would have borrowed heavily from the Giants' future, something they don't want to do. Instead, the Dodgers stepped in and added two players the Giants coveted to some degree.

The Giants have been connected to Scherzer all week, but a source said they also had discussed Turner internally. It's unclear where he would have played, but the Giants are building this roster as the Dodgers once did, valuing versatility, and they surely would have found a unique way to use Turner, one of the game's most underrated players. 

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The Giants now will have to find a way to get Turner out, although at least for now they'll have to do it just three more times. The deal came together in the hours following a 5-0 win over the Dodgers that wrapped up the fifth of six series between the rivals. The Giants will host the Dodgers one more time the first weekend of September. 

Most of the completed games have been close, fascinating and incredibly hard-fought, and it has been easy to picture the two squaring off in October, with one standing as NL West champ and the other trying to survive the Padres in the Wild Card Game. That still might be the case, but after the latest Dodgers' blockbuster, the Giants' three-game edge in the NL West standings doesn't look nearly the same as it did after Jake McGee recorded the final out earlier in the day. 

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