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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman ‘Spooked’ by Padres’ Pursuit of Max Scherzer

If you’re like most fans, you might be wondering when groundbreaking begins for the Andrew Friedman statue at Dodger Stadium. In 2021, the Dodgers had clear needs on the 26-man roster and Andrew went out and filled them. 

With aplomb at that.

MLB trade deadline rumors had several teams “in” on Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer but ultimately the prize of the deadline ended up a Dodger. This we know. However, Andrew Friedman wasn’t always certain that would be the case. 

On Friday, the LA president of baseball operations shared that he was actually worried that the rival San Diego Padres were closing in on a deal with Washington. Especially after MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Padres had a deal close.

We were pretty engaged at that point. It definitely spooked me for a second. I feel like things would have been playing out differently if that were the case. Yeah, it definitely got my attention and my heart may have skipped a beat or two. But we came quickly back to where the conversations were and where it was trending and what was going on.

Friedman adding that by Thursday he was feeling confident that the Dodgers and Nats would reach a deal. Then Ken Rosenthal’s report dropped. 

It turns out, San Diego was never really all that close. Padres’ GM A.J. Preller said as much on Friday night.

Obviously it was not an accurate report. We hadn’t heard from the Nats in, I don’t know, probably seven or eight hours at that point. It was not a situation where we were on the 2-yard line or anything like that.

Related: First Look at Max Scherzer in Blue at Chase Field

In all likelihood, Rosenthal’s report was a rumor leaked to him by a member of Washington’s front office that was looking to squeeze more out of the Dodgers, but that’s just pure speculation on my part. Notably, Ken spoke about the report in an article on The Athletic. He said, with the information he received from “people who had direct knowledge of the discussions.” And he didn’t shy away from the idea that he could have been fed inaccurate information intentionally.

Do sources occasionally feed reporters faulty information? Yes. Do they occasionally try to use reporters to advance their own interests? Yes again. But its a reporters job to filter out noise and any agendas, to get the facts straight and the stories right.

Ultimately, the Dodgers reached a deal for Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, securing the title of winners at the deadline. Mad Max is set to make his Dodgers’ debut on Wednesday in Los Angeles against… the Houston Astros.

NEXT: Trea Turner’s Dodger Debut Will Have to Wait

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!


  1. Clint, if your speculation on Rosenthal’s report is true than that is total negligence on his insider’s reporting. A highly respected Rosenthal’s creditably is now untrusted. However, you have to wonder the report did say the Padres had a close deal with Washington for Scherzer. I saw it and heard it all over the media when Rosenthal immediately broke it out. What really happened and who were telling the truth?

    1. Ken actually touched on this fact on The Athletic. I added his blurb to this article. His claim was that he had solid, accurate information from sources he trusted and I believe him. I think things might have just been a little cloudy for his sources.

  2. Bellinger has not hit since may 2019!.. Proving he is uncoachable.He cannot continue to stand with feet together, locked knees as tall as the Statue of Liberty and expect to hit major league pitching.And Roberts should send him to minors single A! When he can K less than 10% of the time he can move up to AA.70 ab’s, the same, to AAA 100abs. He is missing the ball by 18″! And popping up( being late on pitch).Otherwise create 3 holes in the lineup, and accept 3rd place trophy

  3. C’mon, there is a great possibility Rosenthal got “tooled”. Fool me once shame on them, fool me twice and shame on me.

    Can we trust Rosenthal again. There is an old adage in the intel biz – confirm your info from a separate, independent source before you report it or report it with caveats ( as in the old eval code of info: 2) probably true;3) possibly true;4) doubtfully true; 5) probably untrue; 6) truth cannot be judged. Let us also not Forget Reagan’s ” Trust but Verify’. Rosenthal gets an F on both accounts.

    He go his headline on a “breaking story” that did not break. Now he has egg on his face as another adage goes

    Rosenthal gave us none of that, only making it sound like a Padre signing was pretty imminent . Can he repair his soiled image? Only if he verifies and doesn’t accept every gossip as Gospel

  4. First of all, none of the people commenting on this thread – including me – know what actually happened and we certainly don’t have any sources closer to the action than Rosenthal does.. The Padres were “in” on Scherzer at some point and the Dodgers came in and outbid them. That’s pretty clear. It’s also the norm for folks who get outbid to then say they weren’t really “all in” after all. As to “gossip,” well it’s all gossip until the papers are signed. I suspect someone on the Padres made it clear to Rosenthal that things were moving ahead. And since there are no secrets in baseball, I bet that Friedman had that same information, probably before Rosenthal. The issue was did the Dodgers want to be looking at Scherzer in a wild card game? And the answer was an emphatic “no.”

  5. Fun fact: baseball or not. When anyone wants to describe how close they are to a solution or a deal, the terminology used is always a football term, lol… As described by Padres GM discussing the “…2-yard line”.

    … Something to be said about the sport of football.

  6. If the leak came to Rosenthal from anyone other than a shill in the Nats front office, we would have had the general details of who the Padres were offering for Scherzer. Since those details were conspicuously missing, Rosenthal should have smelled the rat and killed that report.

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