Opinion: Dodgers blockbuster trade for Max Scherzer, Trea Turner puts NL West on notice

PHOENIX -- Come on, you didn’t expect the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers to just sit around and feel sorry for themselves, right?

You didn’t really think they were going to let Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave, Dustin May’s Tommy John elbow surgery, Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts’ nagging injuries, Corey Seager’s 2 ½-month absence and Cody Bellinger’s woeful struggles end their season, did you?

The Dodgers are refusing to let the San Francisco Giants wear the glass slippers. They won’t let the San Diego Padres have their day in the sun.

Hey, October belongs to the Dodgers after what they pulled off Thursday night.

The Dodgers, in one fell swoop, landed three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, who is considered one of the top 10 players in the game.

Just like that, the Dodgers have eight Cy Young trophies and six MVP awards on their 40-man staff.

That three-game deficit in the NL West, after losing five of the last seven games against the Giants in the past 11 days, could vanish as quickly as a Hollywood dream on Sunset and Vine.

This is only the second time in nine years that the Dodgers haven’t been sitting in first place at the trade deadline, and man, did the rest of the NL West pay a price.

Max Scherzer will join Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation.
Max Scherzer will join Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation.

Say the Dodgers still don’t overcome the Giants, and are forced to play a sudden-death, wild-card game against the Padres. Or even the charging Cincinnati Reds.

You going to bet against Scherzer, 8-4, 2.76 ERA? The man, after all, is one of only 25 pitchers to make at least 15 starts in the postseason, according to ESPN Stats and Information, and his 11 strikeouts per nine innings is the best in Major League Baseball history.

How about a short series with Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw?

Or a best-of-seven series with Scherzer, Buehler, Kershaw and Julio Urias?

Good luck, and now they have Trea Turner sitting atop the batting order, with his .322 batting average, .890 OPS, 18 homers and 21 stolen bases.

Oh sure, it came at a steep price. They not only are taking on another $16 million, boosting their payroll to a Major League record $275 million, but also gave up their top two prospects in catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray, along with pitcher Gerardo Carrillo, their 17th-ranked prospect, and outfielder Donovan Casey.

The way the Dodgers figure it, they’ll find more prospects, and kept Scherzer away from the Padres and Giants.

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The Padres now may have to turn their attention to Minnesota Twins ace Jose Berrios. They may have grabbed three frontline starters in the offseason with Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrave, but are in desperate need for another starter, after acquiring veteran reliever Daniel Hudson from the Nationals.

The Padres’ starters have failed to complete five innings in 47 of their games this season, second-most in major league baseball. In comparison, the Dodgers have had only 16 games in which their starter failed to go at least five innings, and the Giants have had 25.

So, yes, the Padres could have badly used Scherzer, but if nothing else, they should have a little confidence the next time they face him. The Padres scored 11 runs in 10 ⅔ innings against Scherzer in back-to-back starts this month.

Scherzer would have looked awfully nice on top of the rotation for the Giants, who are getting huge years from veterans Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto. Yet, they would love to get their own two-for-prospect special with Cubs outfielder/infielder Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel.

Yet, no matter what transpires before the 4 p.m. (ET) trade deadline, the Dodgers now can sit back, put on their sunscreen, jump on the pool rafts at their Phoenix resort, and play the worst team in baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, a few hours later.

The Dodgers, no matter what the standings currently reflect, once again are the biggest, baddest bullies on the NL West block.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB trade deadline: Dodgers make statement with blockbuster deal