It's one thing for reports to stir up the rumor mill around the trade deadline.
It's quite another when the GM of a Major League club comes right out on the radio and admits he's discussed trade possibilities with his three-time Cy Young Award-winning ace, as Nationals GM Mike Rizzo disclosed about Max Scherzer on Wednesday.
Scherzer, who turned 37 on Tuesday, is a 10/5 player, meaning he's granted a no-trade clause by virtue of accumulating 10 years of MLB service time and five or more years with the same club. That means Scherzer has to approve any trade involving him before it goes through.
The Nationals are 7.5 games back in the NL East and admittedly sellers as Friday's 4 p.m. trade deadline fast approaches. Scherzer, who becomes a free agent after this season, is a commodity who could fetch quite a haul for the Nats on the trade market, if they could bring themselves to trade a future Hall of Famer.
On Tuesday, Mark Feinsand reported that Scherzer "strongly prefers" the West Coast.
During his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies on Wednesday, Rizzo was asked, assuming Feinsand's reporting was accurate, if that means the GM would listen to offers from those West Coast teams a little more closely, given it appears to be Scherzer's preference.
"Max has earned the right to have some control over his destiny," Rizzo said. "When you get 10 years in the big leagues and five years with the same team, you've earned that right. It's something that is in the CBA. It's something that is earned. You have to be a really good big league player to get that right, and he's earned it."
"Max and I have probably the closest, most unique relationship I've ever had with a player," he continued. "I've known him since 2005. We drafted him in 2006 with Arizona. I've seen his progression into becoming a Hall of Famer. We have great dialogue on a daily basis almost with different subjects, baseball and alike."
"We have talked quite a bit over the past couple weeks about the possibility of being traded at the deadline," he admitted. "And he gets it. He understands it. We want to make sure that we do what's right for Max and what's right for the organization."
Thus far, Rizzo says Washington hasn't received any offers for Scherzer that would be considered laughable.