Nats trade Scherzer, Turner to Dodgers for prospects

Max Scherzer

The Nationals have traded ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers for four prospects, including the Dodgers' top two, catcher Keibert Ruiz and righty pitcher Josiah Gray.

Washington will also receive RHP Gerardo Carrillo (No. 17) and outfielder Donovan Casey in the deal. 

Scherzer started his final game for Washington on Thursday and delivered one last victory to cap off a seven-year run in the nation’s capital that included two Cy Young awards and a World Series title. Now, he’s a member of the Dodgers (62-42) looking to keep pace in the competitive NL West with the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, who were also involved in talks for Scherzer.

“I’m a human, I get it,” Scherzer said of the trade rumors after his start Thursday. “I understand what’s going on. It just is what it is. You know baseball can throw so many curveballs at you. I’ve never been in this situation in my career, going through all the hoopla right now. But today was just a chance to get challenged and have to block all that out and have to go out there and just compete and find a way to win.” 

As a player with at least 10 years of service time and five with one team, Scherzer had a full no-trade clause in his contract that allowed him to control which team he landed with. In addition to the Padres, teams reportedly in on the Scherzer sweepstakes included the Giants, Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and New York Mets.


Turner was a surprise addition to the deal, as earlier reports were of trades only centered around Scherzer. But the first time all-star had come up in recent days as a potential candidate to be moved at the deadline due to what he could command in free agency after next season. Turner has been one of the league's best offensive shortstops the last few years, finishing as a top 10 MVP candidate in 2020. He will play second base in LA, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, with Corey Seager returning to the team from injury.

In return, the Nats get a 23-year-old Ruiz who was hitting .311 this season with LA's triple-A affiliate in OKC. In seven big-league at-bats this year, he has one hit, a home run, with five strikeouts. Gray, also 23, has a 2.87 ERA in four games with OKC, including three starts, with 22 strikeouts in 15.2 innings pitched. He's pitched eight innings in the majors with 13 strikeouts but also four home runs allowed. Carrillo and Casey have spent the season in Double-A Tulsa.

Following a decade of competing for the playoffs, the Nationals made the rare decision to sell off some of their players at the deadline. Closer Brad Hand was the first player to go, landing with the Blue Jays in exchange for Triple-A catcher Riley Adams. Late on Thursday the Nationals agreed to a pair of deals, sending outfielder Kyler Schwarber to the Red Sox and relief pitcher Daniel Hudson to the Padres. On Friday, the Nationals made one additional trade sending Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes to the Oakland A's.