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GM says Nats maximized Trea Turner's value with deadline deal originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
At the start of Thursday, the trade rumors surrounding Max Scherzer all but confirmed he was heading somewhere West. By Thursday night, Trea Turner’s name was suddenly a part of the package going to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the combo deal might’ve caught some people by surprise, Turner being moved probably shouldn’t have. Once the Nationals decided to be sellers ahead of Friday’s trade deadline, this was the best time for them to maximize the return for a player with one year left on his contract after 2021, as general manager Mike Rizzo explained before Friday’s game against the Cubs.
“We maximized Trea’s value because where we’re at as a franchise, and Trea Turner with two playoff runs in him and one and a half years is way more valuable than a Trea Turner that’s got one year before free agency,” Rizzo said. “So that was the biggest reason that went into the decision-making process. The Dodgers specifically were very intrigued by Trea, having him for more than a rental player, and I think you saw that we benefited from the prospect package because of the length of the contract that he had left.
With one of the three best records in the National League, and adding players like Turner and Scherzer, the reigning world champion Dodgers will certainly be a force again in this year’s playoffs. But while Scherzer alone, as a half-season rental, wouldn’t have compelled them to part with as much as they did, the addition of Turner through next season was enough for them to send their top two prospects and then some to the Nats.
“We had multiple standalone Scherzer deals that were out there. We had several combined Scherzer-Turner deals. We had Scherzer-Turner-plus deals. So, there’s a million different renditions of the deal we made and this one just seemed to be the most appealing to me, gave us the most impactful prospects and allowed us to reap the biggest benefits of the trade market,” Rizzo said.
The potential trade partners Washington had for a Scherzer deal was limited due to the star pitcher’s no-trade clause. With the Dodgers being one of those teams and also having an interest in Turner, Rizzo found a deal he was happy with.
“It’s a lot of trial and error. It’s a million phone calls for each idea you have and each trade proposal you make, and sometimes things fall into place, you get ideas from another general manager,” Rizzo said. “It’s all about communication and preparation and when you feel that you have an opportunity, you cease it."