Padres trade deadline: 3 dream starting pitchers to target

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Padres trade, Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals at the 2021 MLB All-Star Game. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres aren’t going to sit on their hands and hope for the best in the second half in their bid to win a very competitive National League West. They’ve already been active as the MLB trade deadline approaches on Friday, July 30.

They’re not really bad anywhere but not quite good enough at multiple positions, so they might be apt to listen to about any offer that can be an upgrade for the team.

As of today, the Padres are 58-44, a respectable 14 games over .500. But they’re also sitting third place in their division, 5.5 games out of first.

They’re probably a playoff team without doing anything (though there’s a lot of the season left to go), sitting six games above the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card spot, but truly the wild card isn’t really the goal for a team spending more than $200 million this season, is it?

The Padres starting pitching, like any other role, is good but somehow still behind both the Dodgers and the Giants.

The rotation ranks 13th by WAR at FanGraphs, the ERA 11th. Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddock, and Blake Snell have soaked up most of the games started this year, but only Darvish and Musgrove are give a lot of confidence.

So with all that in mind, we’ll start by presenting three dream pitchers to add to the starting rotation staff.

Sure, these *probably* won’t happen, but what if they do?

Padres dream trade: SP Max Scherzer

Update July 29: Ken Rosenthal says a  Max Scherzer trade to the Padres appears to be “close.”

The Nationals are probably sellers. They have been disappointing, and there’s really no reason to believe they’re a playoff team.

Max Scherzer, meanwhile, started the All-Star Game for the NL, has an ERA under 3 for the sixth time in seven years, and has put together just an all-around good Max Scherzer kind of season.

If you’re dreaming about a guy to put in your playoff rotation, the ace of a World Series winning team is the guy you want to do it.

The Padres are one of the teams pursuing him too, per Jayson Stark.

Sure, there are caveats.

The Padres are already spending a lot of money. Scherzer is owed the remainder of his $35 million salary for 2021 and is a free agent after.

He won’t be cheap. He has 10-and-5 rights, though he’s probably open to waiving them for the right deal.

But he does prefer the West Coast, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. So if he might be going to the West Coast anyway, a move to deal for Scherzer at least assures he won’t be playing for a division rival.

That’s pretty important.

Per Ken Rosenthal, we could learn within two days where he goes.

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