Jan 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; (left to right) Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, agent Scott Boras, and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo pose during a press conference introducing Scherzer as a member of the Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
When Max Scherzer signed with the Washington Nationals late Sunday into early Monday, it sent shock waves through the baseball community, particularly the communities of Washington and Detroit.
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The Detroit Tigers’ loss was the Washington Nationals’ gain as the team seemingly came out of nowhere to make the astonishing offer to the 30-year old former Cy Young winner.
We got in touch with our awesome FanSided affiliate that covers the Nats, District on Deck, to get their thoughts on the move, why they did it and fan reaction in the Nation’s Capital. We caught up with the site’s very busy co-editor Ricky Keeler (follow him on Twitter @Rickinator555) earlier this week to answer our questions.
MCB: So Detroit Tigers’ fans are really starting to hate the Washington Nationals. First you steal Doug Fister from us, a trade that fans will never let go, then you throw a ton of money at Max Scherzer making our secret dreams of an eventual reunion evaporate.
Truth be told, I think that most Tigers’ fans are happy to not have to pay the $210 million deal with several high priced players in their 30’s at the beginning of long contracts (Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera) already in place. That being said, most of us were shocked when the Washington Nationals were announced as the landing spot after months of no movement from the usual suspects of Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, etc.
What prompted the Nationals to make such a bold move?
DOD: The Nationals made a bold move, but its not one that shouldn’t be seen as surprising. The Nationals have Scott Boras clients on their team in terms of homegrown talent (Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon to name a few), but look back to the winter of 2010 when the Nationals signed Jayson Werth, a Scott Boras client, to a seven-year deal. This is a move that could have originated from Boras going to owner Ted Lerner for this type of a deal.
Lerner is 89 years old, and as evidenced by the Rafael Soriano deal from 2013, he will make the deals that he feels can lead Washington to a championship. With the addition of Scherzer, the Nationals become a favorite to win the World Series. The only surprise, so far, in this move, is that either Jordan Zimmermann or Stephen Strasburg weren’t traded before this move happened. I am interested in seeing whether the Nationals do trade one of those guys this offseason or stick with the super rotation and the championship-or-bust aspirations.
Next up, Washington fan reaction…