Max Scherzer agrees to seven-year deal with Nationals
Early Monday morning, it was reported that Max Scherzer had agreed to a seven-year deal with the Nationals worth more than $180 million.
On Sunday afternoon, news broke that the Nationals were own of two serious suitors for Scherzer, with another being a “mystery team.” The identity of the reported mystery team – if there was one – was never made public.
Scherzer, 30, is coming off back-to-back tremendous seasons with Detroit, where he won the Cy Young award in 2013.
In 2014, Scherzer posted a 3.15 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with 252 strikeouts in 220.1 innings pitched (33 starts).
Scherzer joins a Nationals rotation that for the moment includes Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez.
As it pertains to the strength of the Nationals in 2015 and beyond, signing Max Scherzer will lead to one of two eventual outcomes.
If Washington keeps all of their starting pitching, they’ll have improved themselves to a point where their starting rotation is almost unfair. However, most don’t believe that will be the case.
Instead, it’s expected that the Nationals will deal one of their starting pitchers – most likely Jordan Zimmermann, who is set to hit free agency after the 2015 season. The Nationals have tried and failed to extend Zimmermann, and the expectation is that both he and fellow pending free agent Doug Fister will not be Nationals beyond 2015.
Still, signing Scherzer allows the Nationals to trade Zimmermann and get a solid haul back for him without weakening themselves.
As it pertains to the Mets, the Nationals signing Max Scherzer twists the knife a bit in a fanbase that simply wants their team to take the steps necessary to become a legitimate contender.
It’s not that Scherzer signed with the Nationals. Rather, it’s what the signing represents.
It represents a team that can spend like a large-market team. It represents a team that is willing to be proactive.
Meanwhile, the Mets continue to be unable to spend what it takes to compete with the behemoths of the sport while holding firm in their refusal to trade what it takes to obtain an actual starting shortstop.
Mets fans didn’t want Max Scherzer, though signing him would’ve allowed the club to flip one of their young starting pitchers for a high-end shortstop. No, what Mets fans want is for the front office to realize that the club is close but needs another move to be a legitimate contender.
Ownership’s financial problems are apparent and Sandy Alderson is not at fault for not spending what he doesn’t have. However, it’s his job to work inside those parameters and find a starting shortstop. So far, he’s failed in that regard.