Strip away the no-trade clause and NL East conflict, and the Mets would have zero excuse for not having Max Scherzer in Flushing days ago.
With no ace for the time being and certainly no guarantees regarding Jacob deGrom’s time line or health in the second half, the Mets need to shoot for the best pitcher available, even if it stings a little extra on the prospect side.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and this year’s NL starter in the All-Star Game, clearly is that guy (a 2.83 ERA in 18 starts this season). Prying him from the Nationals, however, is a tall order for the reasons mentioned above.
Though The Washington Post reported Monday that Scherzer wouldn’t veto a trade outright, he could use the clause to choose his next team. There is plenty of competition for him outside the NL East, namely the Dodgers — which obviously would be preferable for their GM, Mike Rizzo.
“I don’t have any problem dealing within the division,” Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said on Monday. “Some other teams may feel differently. I have no idea. But I always look at it that we have to look out for what’s best for the club. “
Generally speaking, Scott acknowledged that no-trade provisions can be a “challenge,” especially as time gets tight. But the Mets really could use an ace-caliber boost for the rotation, more than we ever anticipated. The…