A frenzied leadup to Friday's MLB trade deadline went into overdrive on Thursday, with several reports indicating the Dodgers were closing in on a trade with the Washington Nationals involving three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner.
Reports of the Nationals-Dodgers blockbuster surfaced just hours after initial reports indicated Scherzer was on the verge of being acquired by the San Diego Padres.
Instead, the 36-year-old ace and Turner, a former Rookie of the Year and first-time All-Star in 2021, will apparently be heading to Los Angeles in a deal that will almost certainly swing the balance of power in the NL West and beyond.
The Nationals would receive several prospects in the proposed deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, including touted minor league catcher Keibert Ruiz.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was first with the news of the developing transaction, which he called "the blockbuster of blockbusters."
It was unclear why the previously Nats-Padres swap seemed to fall through.
The unloading of Scherzer and Turner marks the exit of two additional key figures from the Nationals' 2019 World Series team, following the departures of Anthony Rendon, Howard Kendrick, Adam Eaton, and Sean Doolittle, among others.
Scherzer is a free agent at season's end, while Turner is due for one more round of salary arbitration before scheduled free agency after the 2022 season.
Scherzer, speaking with reporters after Thursday's game, had nothing but positive thoughts when he reflected on his time in D.C.
"I signed a seven-year deal here and we won a World Series," Scherzer said. "That's the first thing I said when I signed was I'm here to win. And we won. We won a World Series. That's a lifelong dream come true and something that I'll always be so proud of with these guys here, to be able to win a World Series and be a part of a championship team. I'm looking forward to reunions and stuff like that. For me, I'm just gonna take the glass half full and look at all the great things that have happened in my seven years here.
"For me, this is where my family started. I came here without kids and now I've got three kids," Scherzer went on to say. "To watch my girls grow up here, living here in Virginia in the DMV area, I'm really getting used to it and all the politics that are going around. Being in the nation's capital, that's kind of fun as well. Driving by all the monuments every single day. It's been a very fun experience for me being in D.C."
He also took time to thank fans.
"And the fans, what can you say about the fans? That's where that championship will always mean something to all of us," Scherzer added. "And we'll always have that and we'll always have that flag."