View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Mon Jan 19th, 2015 05:20 pm
PM Quote Reply Full Topic

Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
Posts: 44681
The Washington Nationals are proof the best teams on paper don't always win. But that's not stopping general manager Mike Rizzo from assembling a roster chock full of talent.

Washington added to its abundance of star power Sunday, with multiple reports saying the club has agreed to a seven-year deal with free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately known, but the contract will likely be the richest deal in franchise history and the largest ever awarded to a free-agent pitcher.

A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal will be worth more than $180 million.

Scherzer joins a remarkable Nationals rotation that currently includes Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, though it appears increasingly unlikely those five will comprise the club's Opening Day staff. Zimmermann and Fister are both entering the final year of their contracts, and the former has been subject to persistent trade rumors this winter.

Rosenthal's colleague Jon Morosi indicated Sunday that the Nationals are also willing to listen to offers for Strasburg, who remains under club control for two more seasons.

Scherzer, meanwhile, appears destined to be the second-richest pitcher in baseball behind Clayton Kershaw and the $215-million extension he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter.

YEAR  IP        SO   ERA  WHIP
2010  195.2  184  3.50  1.25
2011  195     174  4.43  1.35
2012  187.2  231  3.74  1.27
2013  214.1  240  2.90  0.97
2014  220.1  252  3.15  1.18

Scherzer has established himself as one of the top arms in baseball since joining the Detroit Tigers in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2009 offseason. The hard-throwing right-hander has averaged 203 innings per year over the last five seasons and boasts the fifth-highest strikeout rate over that stretch. His 723 strikeouts since 2012 leads all major-league pitchers.

The 2013 Cy Young Award winner was considered the top free agent available this winter after posting his second consecutive 200-inning season. He joins a Nationals team that won a National League-best 96 games in 2014, but suffered its second early-round playoff exit in three years.

Nevertheless, the Nationals are set to enter the 2015 season as prohibitive World Series favorites. Washington's rotation - whether it includes Zimmermann, Strasburg or Tanner Roark - projects to be the top staff in baseball.

Scherzer, 30, was considered a long shot to return to Detroit after rejecting a six-year, $144-million extension last spring. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski conceded as much Friday, saying the club was unlikely to pursue the right-hander.

Instead, Scherzer's career now comes full circle. Sunday's signing reunites him with Rizzo, who drafted Scherzer in 2006 while serving as the vice president of scouting for the Diamondbacks.

Last edited on Mon Jan 19th, 2015 05:21 pm by lobo316