Scherzer and Turner join a list of already stacked Dodgers, with Scherzer providing a much-needed rotation boost and Turner qualifying as a luxury at second base. The Nationals, on the other hand, launched their rebuilding by withdrawing some better prospects in return.
We here at CBS Sports are the critical kind, so few else. As such, below you will find our instant reaction ratings for both sides of this trade. It goes without saying that this is more of an art than a science. First, let’s reprint the reported terms of the agreement:
Now let’s move on to hot air and gas in general.
Dodgers Ranking: A
The Dodgers came on Thursday behind the San Francisco Giants by two games in the National League West. It remains to be seen whether the Dodgers can catch up with or surpass San Francisco in the coming months, but it’s clear they aren’t resting on their laurels after last year’s title.
Scherzer, an impending free agent who turned 37 this week, is a welcome addition for the Dodgers for several reasons. For one thing, his acquisition takes him away from the aforementioned Giants and San Diego Padres – the two teams the Dodgers fight for in the Division, and possibly their future playoff opponents. On the other hand, it improves on a rotation that is currently without Clayton Kershaw (although he is expected to return to the injured list soon), Dustin May (out for the season following Tommy John’s surgery) and Trevor Bauer ( on administrative leave while police and the league investigate allegations of abuse).
Scherzer proved himself to be in good health in a start Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies after sustaining an injury last week in batting practice. In his first 19 outings this season, he’s racked up a 2.76 and 5.25 batting ratio. For reference, his ERA + would rank second among the Dodgers’ active starters, behind only Walker Buehler.
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The Dodgers’ need for Turner is less obvious. They already had a great shortstop Corey Seager and he’s got to come back with a broken hand any day. As a result, Turner is expected to move up to second base, a position he hasn’t played since 2016.
There are two interesting subplots to watch out for with Turner, but let’s recap his season before we get to those points. In his first 96 games this season, he’s reached .322 / .369 / .521 (146 OPS +) with 18 home runs and 21 goals stolen (out of 24 tries). As might be expected, those numbers were good enough for him to play his first career All-Star game. Sadly, recent times haven’t been so good for Turner, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, delaying his Dodgers debut.
Now what about those subplots?
The first concerns how Turner will be used this season. Again, he’s likely to fit in at second base, but that sets off a chain reaction elsewhere on the roster. This means Max Muncy has to move on to first base, which means Cody Bellinger is released to be a full-time outfielder. (And, the Dodgers can only hope for a more productive, hitter.) That, in turn, means the Dodgers will likely start Bellinger, Mookie Betts and AJ Pollock in the outfield almost every day. The effect of all of these jerks and jerks is that the roles of several overexposed players – Albert Pujols, Matt Beaty, and Luke Raley – are likely to be reduced in one fell swoop. It’s nice.
The second is about how Turner will be used next year, his final team-testing season. Seager is a free agent this winter, and one has to wonder if the Dodgers intend to replace him at six with Turner. It’s probably too early to worry about such things – and god knows the Dodgers can afford to keep Seager if they choose – but Andrew Friedman has always done a good job of keeping one eye on the present and the next. on the future, dating back to his days in St. Petersburg. In due course, this might turn out to be another example of this.
In short, Turner is a dynamic player who can step in in all areas at a high level and who gives the Dodgers extra flexibility to move forward, this season and next. The Dodgers must have made the unusual move of parting ways with several top prospects to close the deal, but it’s easy to see why – and it might just allow them to repeat as champions.
National ranking: A
There’s an argument to be made that the Nationals deserve a lower rating for grabbing just two top-100 guys in exchange for Scherzer and Turner. We understood. Unfortunately, that seems to be the reality of the market these days. Teams are simply no longer willing to give up the value of a one-semester rental, even if it’s Max Scherzer. This fact suggests that more than a year of control over Turner’s remaining team is responsible for the overall appearance as good. This trade earns the Nationals, at a minimum, two ready (or nearly ready) coins that should help Mike Rizzo kick off what has become a late rebuild.
Ruiz, 23, has been considered one of the top scoring prospects in minors thanks to his adequate defense and impressive batting ability (he struck out in less than seven percent of his appearances. at marble in 2019). This year, however, he has already set a new career hometown record with 16 in 52 AAA games. Along with Ruiz’s power gains came a drastic change in his batting profile, with his ball rate on the ground dropping from over 44% to around 24%. If this keeps up with the highest level of the game, it will make it even more interesting. He should be the daily receiver of Nationals as soon as possible.
Gray, 23, only recently made his big-league debut as the Dodgers ran out of starting options. He has a great feeling for throwing strikes for a newcomer to the mound (he didn’t pitch until his sophomore year of college), as well as a well-rounded arsenal that includes a mid-90s fastball, two break balls and one change. Gray had a 2.87 ERA and strike-to-goals ratio of 11.0 in four AAA appearances. He could fit into the vacuum left by Scherzer and serve as a mid-rotation starter for the Nationals for the foreseeable future.
Carrillo, 22, is what scouts might describe as a toy cannon. He’s a short right-hander with some good stuff including a mid-90s fastball and a slider. His leadership is not as promising, having walked 93 batters in his last 169 innings. So there’s a significant risk of relief here, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he made the leap to the bullpen before his debut.
Casey, 25, has reached 0.296 / 0.362 / .462 with 11 home runs and 15 interceptions (out of 19 tries) in Double-A this season. These ratings are not as impressive as they seem at first glance when you consider that it is almost a year older than the average of its competitors, or when you notice that it has a rate. 30% strikeout. There is a chance that Casey will become a backup outfielder at the big league level; a more pragmatic assessment, however, does serve as organizational depth.
In addition to Scherzer and Turner, the Nationals also sent relievers Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson, as well as outfielder Kyle Schwarber on Thursday.