Nationals Rumors: Will Tigers Trade Max Scherzer? Would Nats Be Interested?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Washington is rumored to be interested in pitching this winter, and they've been mentioned in connection with all the big names on the market since the Nationals have a rep for spending big $ and making deals with Scott Boras' clients. New Nats rumor...

Washington Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson, who covers the team for MLB.com, wrote in an October article that an anonymous source told him, "... the Nats have interest in Rays left-hander David Price or Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer if they are available this offseason." Tampa Bay is reportedly looking for a haul in return for their 28-year-old, Cy Young Award-winning starter who has two years of arbitration remaining before he hits free agency.

"'I don’t think it’s a necessity to go outside the organization, either in the free agent market or in the trade market.'" - Mike Rizzo on Nats' starting depth to NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman

Detroit's reportedly entertaining the possibility of dealing Scherzer, 29, and a Cy Young finalist, who is headed for free agency after the 2014 campaign and coming off a 2013 season with the Tigers which saw the '06 D-Backs' 1st Round pick go (21-3) with a 2.90 ERA, 56 walks (2.35 BB/9) and 240 Ks (10.08 K/9) in 32 starts and 214 1/3 IP.

Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said late this season that he felt the Nationals had enough pitching in the organization to fill out the rotation in 2014, but Washington's 52-year-old General Manager and President of Baseball Operations noted that as always, he'd consider any trade that could improve the roster.

Talking David Price With D-RaysBay.com: Gauging Interest in David Price, Part 5 Comment Section
"'[He has] a power arm. He's a big strong physical right-handed pitcher with a tough good makeup demeanor on the mound.'" - Mike Rizzo to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert on Max Scherzer in 2006

"I don’t think it’s a necessity to go outside the organization,'" Rizzo told reporters including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, "'either in the free agent market or in the trade market. But we’re certainly not going to back away from looking at the free agent and the trade market to improve the club."

With Stephen Strasburg, coming off surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, a healthy Ross Detwiler and a fifth starter, likely Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan or possibly Nathan Karns, Rizzo explained, "'we could certainly fill from within.'"

The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore Kilgore wrote Monday that he considered it "highly unlikely" the Nationals would enter the 2014 season with Roark and Jordan competing for the fifth spot.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson too said he thinks the Nats will look for a deal. "I know the Nationals are going to try and trade for a starting pitcher, and they have interest in Rays left-hander David Price, who is arbitration-eligible," he wrote in a Q&A Tuesday. Rizzo did also say late this season that the Nationals once again have the depth to trade for what they need this winter.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote tonight that he thinks the Scherzer might be a better fit for Washington than Price.

"The Washington Nationals want to add an elite starting pitcher in a trade," the bow-tied FOXSports.com writer reported, citing major league sources. Why does he think it's a good fit?

There's the fact that Rizzo was the scouting director in Arizona when the Diamondbacks made Scherzer the 11th overall pick in 2006. The future Nats' GM described Scherzer then, in an article by MLB.com writer Steve Gilbert, as a power arm and, "... a big strong physical right-handed pitcher with a tough good makeup demeanor on the mound."

The Nationals, Mr. Rosenthal writes, also have the type of young power arms and veteran relievers he thinks the Tigers would target. The price in prospects wouldn't be as steep either, he reasons and Scherzer is, of course, represent by Scott Boras, who has a good working relationship with the Nats' General Manager. If the Tigers decide to deal Scherzer, will the Nationals make a run at the right-hander? Strasburg, Scherzer, Zimmermann, Gonzalez and Detwiler? Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark and Nate Karns in reserve?

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