Padres rumors: Max Scherzer trade would put NL West title in the picture

Update: Ken Rosenthal calls a  Max Scherzer trade to the Padres “close.” Read more at that link.

Earlier today we wrote that the Padres trading for Max Scherzer would be a dream-come-true that helped shore up the rotation.

Now we learn the team is thinking the same way.

Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported on Twitter that the Padres are among the teams pursuing the Nationals’ World Series ace.

Of course, they’re not alone in the pursuit. The Dodgers are also said to be in on him.

The disappointing Nationals are almost certainly sellers and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted that a Scherzer deal could be done within 48 hours.

The Padres need to trade for Max Scherzer

The Padres are solidly in the playoff picture right now. Though they’re 5.5 games out of first place in the NL West, they’re also six games ahead of the field in their bid for a wild card spot.

FanGraphs puts the Padres’ playoff odds at 90% right now.

But that’s still behind the Dodgers (99%) and Giants (95%). So as of today, it’s hard to look at the Padres odds of contending for a World Series title as super strong when you can see a lot of competition for them on the West Coast alone.

Max Scherzer can definitely help tilt that a little more in San Diego’s direction.

The accolades barely need reciting. Four-time starting pitcher for his All-Star squad (eight-time All-Star). Three-time Cy Young winner. Pretty much a Hall of Famer already.

This season Scherzer has a 2.83 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched (good for the fourth-best K/9 in MLB). He has issued just 25 walks all year and has a WHIP of 0.866 (second-best).

The Padres have a couple of really good starters and then things begin to drop off a bit. Think about the idea of Scherzer just knocking everyone down by a notch.

Yu Davish (3.27 ERA) and Joe Musgrove (3.13) currently sit atop the rotation. Ryan Weathers has put up some good numbers (2.73) but with a FIP (4.49) that says not to hold your breath.

Then you’ve got Chris Paddack and Blake Snell with 5.17 and 4.93 ERAs, respectively.

Nothing about that makes you think “deep playoff run” in your heart of hearts, does it?

But you add Max Scherzer, bump everyone down, and suddenly the picture starts looking a lot rosier.

One thing is definitely for certain: The Padres aren’t done yet.

Jon Morosi noted they’ve been active in the starting pitcher market.

They added Adam Frazier a few days ago. They’ve been linked to Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel.

There’s talk about trying to find a partner to take Eric Hosmer’s contract off their hands, too.

It’s going to be an exciting few days for Padres fans. And then after that, maybe an exciting month of October, too.