And just when you thought the Nats were done.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Washington Nationals have signed Max Scherzer to a 7-year deal worth more than $180 million.
In 2013, the righty won the Cy Young Award with the Detroit Tigers and did not disappoint in 2014, with a 3.15 ERA over 220 innings pitched, going 18-5. While he didn’t exceed his 2013 Cy Young season, 2014 most certainly lived up to expectations.
At the beginning of the season, there was no correlation between Scherzer and the Nationals. If he didn’t re-sign with the Tigers, suitors appeared to be the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants or Dodgers. The tides changed very quickly. Early Sunday reports told of an “increasing sense” around the league that Scherzer would be going to DC. By 12:42 AM, the deal was done.
The young Nationals are now faced with a dilemma. Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister are both on contract years, and both are expected to command extensions or deals worth above $120 million. Rumors have been circulating all winter that one or two of the righties would be leaving. With Scherzer now on the payroll, there is a new element. Many think that the Nationals will trade Zimmermann, but according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the early view is that the Nationals will be keeping Zimmermann. Extension talks may or may not continue throughout the season.
Scherzer started his career as a first-round draft pick in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, scouted and drafted by current Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. He was traded to the Tigers as a part of a 2009 blockbuster involving Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson and Austin Jackson.
Over his 7-year career, Scherzer is 91-50 with a 3.58 ERA over 1239.1 innings pitched.