Ah – the pie in the sky trade option. Plugging Scherzer in with Greinke, McCullers, Valdez and Odorizzi/Garcia would make this Houston Astros team unstoppable.
Although Scherzer is in his late 30s, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He’s 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP – just flat-out dominant. The right-hander is still posting a 35% strikeout rate, while his walk rate is well under 6%, and his opponent batting average is .175. Now, before us Astros fans get carried away fantasizing about this – can this trade actually happen?
The Nationals have made no indication on being sellers at the deadline, especially with they way their offense has been playing as of late. In addition, Scherzer has a no-trade clause in the final year of his contract, that he has indicated he’d only waive if he could get a guaranteed extension. Houston would have to be comfortable paying premium starter money to a guy in his late 30s.
But – if the Astros are in win-now mode, this move would be massive step towards that goal. This trade would not only make Houston the World Series favorite for this year, it would elongate Houston’s championship window even more.
Okay, okay. Let’s assume Scherzer is way too expensive (no need to assume – he’d be very expensive). Houston can make a smaller-but-impactful trade for another Nats hurler: Daniel Hudson.
Hudson has posted a 2.54 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and 13.1 strikeout per nine rate in his 30 innings this season. He’s been looking good both of those placements as velocity and could be an ideal set-up man for Ryan Pressly in the postseason.
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What Hudson also brings to the bullpen is poise and experience. This is a guy who’s a 14-year vet and a World Champion who can certainly be relied on in key moments in the postseason. You can never get enough guys like that on your team.
I covered this trade idea on a recent trend piece, but it bears repeating. The Astros love having both Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro but adding Yan Gomes wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The 33-year-old catcher is a former Silver Slugger and All Star with a terrific track record of performance in the postseason.
The Astros has struggled with consistent production in the lower part of their lineup – something that would be resolved immediately with Gomes. Any time there is an opportunity to get a catcher who hits .270 to hit 9th in the batting order in front of Altuve, Brantley and Gurriel might be worth exploring.