St. Louis Cardinals should be interested in Max Scherzer

ST. LOUIS, MO – MAY 1: Max Scherzer # 31 of the Washington Nationals faces the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 1, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

St. Louis Cardinals: Six-man rotation for the upcoming route by Robert Murray

If the Washington Nationals continue to slide and the St. Louis Cardinals bounce back as everyone expects, could they line up for a big deal?

The Cardinals probably don’t have much room to do payrolls after acquiring Nolan Arenado. But what could give them room to breathe is that the Rockies ate (ridiculously) $ 51 million from Arenado’s remaining contract. And it could lead to the Cardinals being players for a pitcher of the caliber of Max Scherzer, for example.

When the Nationals provide jokes, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale expects them to be “key players” for the seasoned right-hander, he told KFNS’s Frank Cusumano.

Let’s be clear now. Nightengale doesn’t say the cardinals will be with Scherzer. It just connects the dots, and even at this level, a potential Scherzer trade makes a lot of sense.

The Cardinals are clearly in win-now mode, as evidenced by trading with Arenado. They have a massive need for rotation and have already announced that they will be moving to a six-man rotation to survive a 17-minute stretch of play. Adding Scherzer wouldn’t just stabilize the rotation. It would get them straight into the conversation with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres as a National League class.

What makes no sense is that Scherzer is a free agent by the end of the year and the Nationals continue to want top prospects in return. The Cardinals have shown no willingness to part with their top prospects even in the Arenado trade, and it’s hard to see them make such a deal this season.

Our own Ben Draw linked those dots on Thursday before Nightengal’s report came out. As Ben saw, the connection between Max Scherzer and the Cardinals is too clear to be ignored.

But these numbers are the first of many in which Scherzer is associated with the Cardinals. And if the Nationals keep fighting, that excitement won’t get louder until July.

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