After seven years in Washington, it looks like Nationals ace Max Scherzer is headed to San Diego.
The Padres are close to acquiring Scherzer, Ken Rosenthal reports for The Athletic, in a deal that would ship one of the top pitchers in the game and a future Hall of Famer to a contentious NL West, where the Padres trail the Giants by 5.5 games.
In the end, Scherzer was able to pitch in a Nationals uniform one final time Thursday, even with the trade deadline looming, calmly guiding the Nats to a 3-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies on six innings pitched with five strikeouts and three walks.
Scherzer, 37, has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the game since signing with the Nationals in 2015, winning consecutive Cy Young Awards (2016-17), and pitching two no-hitters and one 20-strikeout game, with an overall record of 92-47 in Washington. But the crowning achievement of his career came in 2019, when leading the Nationals to a World Series title with his sterling Game 7 performance against the Astros.
Scherzer, knowing what was likely on the horizon, chose to focus on the good times after Thursday's victory.
"I signed a seven-year deal here and we won a World Series," Scherzer told reporters. "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."
"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."