Max Scherzer rumors: Washington Nationals expected to sign former Cy Young winner
All has been relatively quiet on the Max Scherzer front for the better part of the last month as the free agent starting pitcher is looking for a home in 2015 and beyond.
The Washington Nationals already have a talented rotation but after falling short that elusive World Series in recent years they could become the prohibitive favorite if they are able to sign Scherzer to the lucrative contract he's seeking.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman the Nationals and Scherzer about a seven-year deal to bolster a rotation that already includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo drafted Scherzer when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks and could be looking at a win-now year with Zimmermann scheduled to be a free agent at season's end.
A rotation with Scherzer, Strasburg, Zimmermann and Gonzalez would be quite the formidable foursome, especially in a playoff format where starting pitching is vital as we saw with Madison Bumgarner leading the San Francisco Giants to the World Series last year.
Heyman writes that at least one other team is in discussions with the former Cy Young winner, but SB Nation's Chris Cotillo tweets the Nationals are expected to sign Scherzer.
Sources: Increasing sense throughout league that Max Scherzer will end up with #Nationals. Unclear if deal is close.- Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 18, 2015
The St. Louis Cardinals and Scherzer have expressed mutual interest but it is unclear if they are the mystery team Heyman writes about and if they are if they'd be able to match the years and dollars the Nationals would be willing to invest.
Scherzer, 30, led the American League with 18 wins after leading MLB with 21 wins in 2013 when he won the Cy Young after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and AL-best .970 WHIP. He was 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 2014 and made his second All-Star team.
He turned down an offer worth more than $140 million in spring training signaling the Detroit Tigers would be unable to re-sign one of their aces.
If the Nationals are successful in their pursuit of Scherzer they would have to be considered the prohibitive favorites to win the National League East and the front-runners to best the likes of the Giants and Cardinals for National League supremacy.
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