On Sunday night, a rumor came out of nowhere that Tigers ace Max Scherzer was interested in signing with the Nationals and one other unnamed team. According to multiple reports, Scherzer will be heading to DC. In the wee hours of the morning, Scherzer apparently agreed to a seven-year contract with the Nationals, but there has been no official announcement by the Nationals or Scherzer yet. Ken Rosenthal reported about 20 minutes ago that:
Source: Scherzer deal with #Nationals is seven years, $210M with half deferred. He will receive $15M per year for 14 years.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2015
The Nationals’ rotation, already featuring Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Doug Fister, made the Nats favorites to win the NL East in 2015,and by adding Scherzer, the team bolstered its pitching the max (ha ha. Get it?).
What does this mean for Jordan Zimmermann, who only has one year left on his contract? Will he be traded this offseason or is he to stay with Washington? My opinion is that the Nationals are in it to win it, so I think that DC is going to keep JZ for 2015. I hope they will sign him to a long term deal. If the rumors are true, Scherzer is already signed until 2022, which is when I will be leaving for college. Crazy what happens in 7 years, right!.
As I asked on Twitter yesterday, what would the rotation look like if all the starters stayed?
If Scherzer signs and JZ stays, who’s your Opening Day starter? My rotation: Scherzer, Stras, Zimm, Gio, Fister. Roark is long man from pen.
— Matt’s Bats (@MattsBats) January 18, 2015
I think Scherzer, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez and Fister. People can disagree with the line-up of #1, 2 and 3. I think Scherzer should go first because he is the newest addition, and he has a Cy Young Award. Strasburg is kind of the face of the Nats pitching franchise and is already a star and getting better. Zimmermann is a fan favorite and his last 2 appearances he went 9 scoreless innings (Game 2 of NLDS and no-hitter on last game of the regular season).
Another question is what number will Scherzer wear on his jersey. He currently wears #37 with the Tigers, but that’s Stephen Strasburg’s number.
Sorry Max Scherzer, number 37 is already taken, but 36 is now available.
— Matt’s Bats (@MattsBats) January 19, 2015
36 was Tyler Clippard’s number, but he was traded to the A’s, so it’s available. One of my Twitter followers suggested he wear #73 (37 backwards), or that he take 39, which is what he wore in Arizona and which I don’t think currently belongs to anyone.
I think a lot of people are surprised by happy by the signing. The Nats didn’t need to improve their starting pitching, but this would set Scherzer up for a long career with the Nats, where he can mentor guys like Lucas Giolito and others as they come up through the system. While Fister and Zimmermann are only on short-term contracts, Gonzalez and Strasburg are around for long enough to keep the Nats a dominant pitching franchise for years. We saw how important starting pitching was in the playoffs, so this is a good long term move. You might as well just put 15 AL team names in a hat, pick one, and there you go– World Series time.
I want to hear from you– who do you think should be the Nationals’ Opening Day starter (assuming they keep everyone). Vote in the poll or you can comment on the post or tweet to me @MattsBats.