Spring Training is just a few weeks away — and the Washington Nationals look like their in it to win it in 2015.
At a press conference today, the Nats introduced Max Scherzer as the newest member of their rotation. The 30-year-old right hander spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but after going 21-3 over 32 games in 2013 and winning the Cy Young famously refused to sign a contract extension. He dipped a bit in 2014, posted an 18-5 record in 33 games, but the drop off didn’t scare the Nationals. Washington signed Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract, which was finalized this afternoon.
“I want to win, and that’s why I’m here,” Scherzer said. “I think this team is capable of winning, and winning a lot.”
He’ll certainly be in good company on the mound. He’ll join a starting pitcher corps that boasts Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez. Washington’s starting pitchers led the majors in 2014 with a 3.04 ERA and propelled the Nats to a 96-66 records, 17 games ahead of the second-place New York Mets in a weak NL East.
But in the playoffs, Washington fell to eventual World Series champions San Francisco Giants, 3-1, in the National League Divisional Series.
With Scherzer in the mix, the Nationals have to be at or near the top of early favorites to win the National League, if not the World Series.
"Whenever you can acquire a player of Max Scherzer's ability level, character and toughness on the mound, those opportunities are few and far between," Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “We strengthened a strength.”
Want more on the Nationals signing Scherzer? Then check out this quick recap of today’s announcement:
Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo