What could have been.

The New York Yankees tried to pair ace Gerrit Cole with another elite arm as the MLB trade deadline approaches Friday: Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports the “Yankees did inquire on Scherzer but were told they’re not on his list. For now they are monitoring (Trevor) Story (they don’t appear in on (Javier) Baez and may see (Trea) Turner as too pricey in terms of prospects). (Starling) Marte also a possibility, and Marlins like to deal with them. ... Three of Scherzer’s preferred teams are in mix — Giants, Dodgers, Padres — giving the Nats a chance at a haul. Max is seen as easily the most impactful rental on the market, and his willingness to go in trade is a big plus for the Nats.”

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports “Max Scherzer trade talks have continued to intensify, and those close to the conversations believe a deal could be reached by late tonight. The Giants, Dodgers, and Padres are among the top suitors, but other clubs are involved.”