MLB trade rumors: Nationals discussing Max Scherzer trades; Phillies interested in Cubs relievers

MLB trade rumors: Nationals discussing Max Scherzer trades; Phillies interested in Cubs relievers

MLB's July 30 trade deadline is less than a week away, and that means it's time to let the rumors flow like water. Below, you can find Saturday's most notable reports and trade speculation.

Nationals discussing Scherzer trades

The Nationals, who entered Saturday with a 45-51 record and a seven-game deficit in the National League East, are discussing ace Max Scherzer in trade talks, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. The Nationals had previously stated they would investigate both buy and sell approaches heading into the final days of the trade season.

Scherzer, 37 in a few days' time, is an impending free agent who has earned the right to veto any trade by virtue of having more than 10 years of service time and five years with his current team. It's unclear if he would be willing to waive his veto to facilitate a trade to a contender.

Scherzer has posted a 2.83 ERA (136 ERA+) and a 5.68 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first 18 starts this season. He was scheduled to start Saturday night against the Orioles before the Nationals scratched him because of tricep discomfort.

Heyman also reported on Saturday that the Phillies have interest in Cubs relievers Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, and Andrew Chafin.

Kimbrel is, of course, the biggest name of the three. In 37 appearances this season, he's accumulated a 0.51 ERA (794 ERA+), a 5.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 22 saves in 24 attempts. His contract includes a $16 million club option for next season that can be bought out for $1 million.

The Phillies entered Saturday with a 48-48 record on the year, good for second place in the National League East, some four games behind the Mets. Philadelphia's bullpen ranks in the bottom-10 in ERA, as well as in the bottom five in meltdowns, a FanGraphs metric that uses win probability added to determine how responsible relievers are for a game's outcome.

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