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USATSI

The MLB trade deadline looms on Friday. With just a few days to go, the rumor mill is churning. We'll round up the hottest rumors here throughout the day. 

There were two big trades: 

Now onto the rumors. 

Max Scherzer talks heating up

According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Nationals' trade talks involving ace Max Scherzer are "intensifying," to the point where a deal could be reached before Thursday. Morosi adds that the three top teams in the National League West -- the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres -- are believed to be involved, along with other clubs.

Scherzer's situation is more complex than the typical trade candidate's. He has the ability to block any trade thanks to his 10-5 rights (as in, 10 years of major league service and five consecutive with his current team), and his agent Scott Boras has implied that he may require financial coaxing in order to consent to a deal. It's also worth noting that Nationals ownership squashed a Bryce Harper trade several deadlines ago, and it's at least possible they would stand in the way of moving Scherzer. (Though that scenario seems less likely given the Nationals' recent poor play.)

Scherzer, an impending free agent, missed his last start because of an injury he experienced during batting practice. In 18 outings this season, he's accumulated a 2.83 ERA (135 ERA+) and a 5.68 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

Padres prioritize pitching

In the wake of being beaten out for the services of Gallo, the Padres have turned their full attention to the starting pitching market. As noted above, they have interest in Scherzer. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that they've also been checking in on Twins starter José Berríos.

The Padres already made a deal to beef up the offense, adding All-Star Adam Frazier. The Dinelson Lamet injury has forced rookie Ryan Weathers back into the rotation and the Padres surely would like to limit his workload down the stretch. Adding a frontline starter like Scherzer or Berríos would give them a lethal 1-2 punch with Yu Darvish while Joe Musgrove is having a nice year. Blake Snell and Chris Paddack would then fill out the rotation. 

Dodgers inquire on Kimbrel, other Cubs

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has experienced turbulence lately, blowing three saves since the start of the second half. Perhaps predictably, Los Angeles is at least weighing adding to their relief corps. Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Dodgers have spoken to the Cubs about several players, including closer Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel, for his part, figures to be the top reliever moved this week. It's unclear how serious the Dodgers' pursuit of him (or any other Cubs player, for that matter) is at this time. The Dodgers are also rumored to be involved on Nationals ace Max Scherzer.

A's land Marte

The Athletics and Marlins have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send outfielder Starling Marte out west in exchange for left-hander Jesús Luzardo. You can read more about that deal by clicking here.

Turner has destination, positional preferences

Nationals shortstop Trea Turner left Tuesday's game following a positive COVID-19 test. It's unknown how that development will impact his availability in trades over the next few days, but that isn't stopping him from letting his friends know where he'd like to play -- as it relates to both, geography and his defensive position.

Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Turner is telling associates he would be unlikely to sign a long-term extension with a West Coast team. He's also expressed no interest in moving off the shortstop position. Of course, Turner's predilections may not matter. He does not have a no-trade clause, and it stands to reason that he would go with the flow if an acquiring team asked him to play center or second base from now until his winter 2022 date with free agency. 

Turner, 28, has hit .322/.369/.521 (146 OPS+) with 18 home runs and 21 steals (on 24 attempts) in 96 games this season.