Max Scherzer Agrees To Seven-Year Deal With Washington Nationals

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

At least publicly, it was a relatively slow and quiet free agency for Max Scherzer, who at the outset of the offseason was somewhat over shadowed by Jon Lester also being available. After Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs, the expectation was the market would quickly form for Scherzer and James Shields.

After rejecting a six year, $144 million offer from the Detroit Tigers last spring, Scherzer’s bold decision appears to have paid off as according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, he’ll receive $210 million over 14 years from the Washington Nationals:

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, Scherzer’s seven-year deal includes a $50 million signing bonus, also to be paid over a duration of time:

The $105 million in deferred money is the most in baseball history. After winning 96 games last season, the most in the National League and second-most overall, the Nationals were eliminated by the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS.

Although not initially mentioned as potential suitors for Scherzer, the Nationals’ aggression has landed them the best pitching staff in baseball, at least for the time being.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ financial resources had many expecting them to be in play for Lester, Scherzer or Shields, but that hasn’t proven to be true outside of exploratory interest. Amid reports of Scherzer and the Nationals nearing an agreement on Sunday, the Dodgers signed Erik Bedard to a Minor League deal.

Scherzer is a career 91-50 with a 3.58 ERA in seven seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tigers. He won the 2013 AL Cy Young Award and has made the All-Star team in each of the last two seasons.

Scherzer’s $210 million deal is second all-time for a starting pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw’s $215 million contract, but ahead of Justin Verlander’s deal ($180 million, though there was $40 million remaining when he signed new contract) and Felix Hernadez’s ($175 million).

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  1. Quit messing around….resign Greinke and trade for Strasburg….draft picks can be overrated…at least you know what you get with these pitchers. Also trade Ethier and Crawford and pay some of their salaries or package one of them with Urias.

    1. Greinke has an opt out in his contract, so to extend, not resign, he is going to want at least Lester like money…..Wash is not going to trade Strasburg now…..if anyone the will swap Zimmerman. Sorry, but Ethier has NO value…they have all but tried to give him away and no takers……Urias is 18……..with great stuff….they are not trading that kid. And to do so would be nuts…….They do not have the glut of OF’s so trading Ethier and Crawford is not a viable option…….

        1. true to a point…..Ethier has zero value to anybody…his skills are in rapid decline, and nobody wants him….

          1. I agree it appears there are no takers on Ethier. I was listening to radio and they were saying this is the National’s attempting to get a World Series win while the owner. who is 89, is still alive. the contract is back loaded so they are paying him for 14 years total. Total “real value” around 185M.

    2. What do you possibly think LA could offer for Strasburg? There is no way the Nats are trading him.

  2. This contract is going to blow up on them. Scherzer is already 30 (4 years older than Kershaw) and frankly has only been elite since his age 27 season. Kershaw has been elite (arguably) since his age 21 (or 22) season.

    Given the difference in age and performance, irrespective of stage in their career, this scares me at what Kershaw might command if he opts out of his contract after 2018. Frankly, he’d be foolish not to if his performance continues at this level. Are we talking $40M or (gasp) $50M per season over 5-6 years?

    1. Shades of the Dodgers and Kevin Brown….they might win this year, but down the line they are going to pay for this one.

  3. At this point I would hold on to Ethier to see if Peterson adjusts quickly in the batters box. They say it takes 150-200 at bats minimum to adjust to Major League Pitching. Might have to platoon him for the first year or so and Ethier can be a steady backup.

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