A stunning trade went down in Major League Baseball on Thursday night that sent superstars Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals to the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nats also traded closer Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the day. And as the night goes on, the Nats are still dealing big-name players.
The Nats traded slugger Kyle Schwarber to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor-league pitcher Aldo Ramirez.
The #RedSox today acquired All-Star outfielder Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals, in exchange for minor league RHP Aldo Ramirez.
To make room for Schwarber on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated RHP Brandon Workman for assignment.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 30, 2021
Later, the Nats sent Daniel Hudson to the San Diego Padres in exchange for two prospects: minor-league pitcher Mason Thompson and minor-league infielder Jordy Barley. Hudson is currently on the COVID-19 Injured List after the Nats experienced an outbreak.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 30, 2021
Schwarber went on a historically special home run tear in June, but is currently on the Injured List with a hamstring strain. However, he’s expected to return in the next week or two, and he can provide a big power bat for the AL East-leading Red Sox.
On the season, Schwarber has 25 home runs and a .253/.340/.570 slash line in 303 plate appearances. Defensively, he’s slightly below average in left field (but not nearly as bad as some make him out to be), but there’s also the designated hitter option in the AL. And maybe the Red Sox consider trying him at first base. Boston was heavily linked to Schwarber’s former Chicago Cubs teammate Anthony Rizzo just hours ago, but the New York Yankees swooped in and acquired the first baseman. Perhaps Schwarber was option B on that front for Boston.
Regardless of the positional questions, there’s no doubting Schwarber’s ability to crank dingers. And he also has a robust .981 OPS in 79 career postseason plate appearances, which the October-hopeful Red Sox surely took note of.
How do you even describe how hot @kschwarb12 is right now?
— MLB (@MLB) June 30, 2021
After the NL West rival Dodgers acquired Scherzer and Turner, general manager A.J. Preller upgraded the Padres roster by acquiring Hudson to bolster the bullpen. Hudson has a 2.20 ERA and 2.45 FIP this season, to go with 48 strikeouts and only seven walks in 32 2/3 innings pitched (13.32 K/9, 1.93 BB/9).
As for the prospects, Ramirez is an intriguing 20-year-old pitcher that FanGraphs ranks eighth in the Washington farm system with a Future Value of 40+. Thompson is a hard-throwing right-hander — averaged 98 mph in three big-league innings this season — who slots in at 21st (with a 40 Future Value) in the Nats’ system, and Barley is a 21-year-old middle infield prospect that FanGraphs has at 26th (35+ Future Value). That’s after acquiring its new top two prospects in the system with the Dodgers trade, in pitcher Josiah Gray (No. 21 prospect in MLB per FanGraphs) and catcher Keibert Ruiz (No. 42 prospect).
So, the Nats have greatly improved their farm system in a matter of hours, but the bigger takeaway is of course how much they’re depleting their major-league roster. In the short-term (and who knows for how long), it’s going to be young superstar Juan Soto and not much else in Washington.
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) July 30, 2021
It’s been a franchise-changing night for the Nats, and it’s not going to go over too well with much of the fan base- and it’s something Cubs fans can relate to right now.