Nationals ditch Padres, dealing Scherzer, Turner to Dodgers in blockbuster

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The Nationals have taken full advantage of their leverage against the National League West at the trade deadline, parlaying a deal with the Padres earlier on Thursday for a better one with the Dodgers later in the evening.

The only downside, for Nationals fans, is a big one. Or, rather, two big ones. Washington will have to part with ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner, two of the remaining foundational pieces of their 2019 World Series title.

A highly evolved negotiating process resulted in the Nationals dealing Scherzer and Turner to the Dodgers, the team with which they've competed most over the past decade for the best record in the National League. Scherzer is a rental playing out the string on an expiring contract, and Turner still has another full season of control in 2022.

In return, the Nationals will receive 23-year-old catcher Keibert Ruiz and 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray, the respective Nos. 1 and 2 prospects in the Dodgers' system. Ruiz is a switch hitter. In addition, Washington receives 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Gerardo Carrillo (No. 17 prospect) and 25-year-old outfielder Donovan Casey (not rated).

It's a steep price for both clubs — for the Dodgers, a chance to steal a hotly contested NL West, in which they trail the Giants by three games; and for the Nationals, a chance to improve their future at the expense of the present.

Major League Baseball's trade deadline officially arrives Friday at 4 p.m.