Shortly after the Washington Nationals dealt closer Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays in a sign that Washington is ready to plan for beyond the rest of the current MLB season, starter Max Scherzer took the bump against the Philadelphia Phillies amid rumors he could have a new baseball home before Friday's trade deadline.
Scherzer didn't disappoint. He allowed one run over six innings in Washington's 3-1 victory over Philadelphia in the first matchup of a doubleheader scheduled after the Nationals confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak within the team on Wednesday.
According to Paul Casella of the MLB website, four players and nine staff members tested positive for the virus.
Per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Scherzer seemed to understand he's currently worth more to the Nationals as a trade asset than an active player when speaking with reporters following Thursday's win:
Scherzer: "This is where my family started. I came here without kids, now I've got three kids...it's been a very fun experience for me being in DC. What can you say about the fans? That's where that championship will always mean something to all of us."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 29, 2021
Scherzer wasn't dancing around the idea that he might be done as a National. Said "it is what it is," and acknowledged that he's never been traded in season so he doesn't know what's coming either. Sounded like a guy on his way out the door, which shouldn't be surprising.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 29, 2021
Scherzer on his tenure, potentially being dealt: "I don't want to look at this as a negative thing, I really look at it as positive thing. I signed a seven-year deal here to win a World Series... And we won. We won a World Series. That's a lifelong dream come true.''— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 29, 2021
Earlier in the day, MLB Network's Jon Heyman linked the Boston Red Sox with a potential move for the 37-year-old. While Scherzer is keen on going to the West Coast, he reportedly would waive his full no-trade clause to join the first-place Red Sox.