Pay Up! The Max Scherzer Signing And Where Will James Shields End Up?

First off, “Scherzer” is a really painful name to spell.

On Wednesday, the Nationals officially gave Max Scherzer, this year’s biggest free agent pitcher, a ton of money.  Scherzer signed a seven year, $210 million contract with Washington, only improving an already beastly rotation.

The contract is huge.  Massive.  It’s the biggest contract ever given to a right handed pitcher.  You could tell that Nats wanted him really bad.  The move though, is one that seems great, but, you have to wonder about down the road.

Honestly, this is a great short term move for Washington.  Scherzer brings a lot to the table.  Cy Young caliber pitching that’s consistent.  Adding that to this rotation will be unhitable come spring.

Seven years though, is a long time.  Scherzer is 30.  That means he’ll be 37 by the time the contract is up.  Given from what we’ve seen over the past years with players over 30 signing long term deals, it’s unlikely he’ll be a National for the entire span of the contract.  It’s also likely he’ll decline fast.

But then again, this is a short term move for Washington.  They are going all in.  They have tons of young talent, like Bryce Harper, who’s only going to improve.  You have capitalize on it now, and lock them up when you start to succeed.

An issue coming off of this siging for Washington is, though it may not be an issue, is that they now have six starting pitchers in their rotation.

  • Max Scherzer
  • Stephen Strasburg
  • Doug Fister
  • Tanner Roark
  • Gio Gonzalez
  • Jordan Zimmerman

So yea, that’s like the best problem you can have.  All of those guys are really good, and three are still devolping into what they’ll become.

It’s not inconceivable that you could have a six man rotation.  Teams have done it before.  However, guys like playing time.  Pitchers play every 4th or 5th game.  Adding more guys means less playing time.

It’s most likely Washington deals one these pitchers.  For how much Scherzer is getting paid, he should play.

The three names being floated the most are Zimmerman, Fister and Strasburg.  The Strasburg thing is quite interesting.  This is highly hyped guy who came in and pitched outstanding, then had a devastating arm injury, and now is regaining his stuff.  He’s entering the early stages of his prime.  I believe, that Strasburg is going to be really good.  He stays.

Doug Fister just got to Washington a season ago.  He had a great 2014, with a 2.41 ERA and a record of 16-6.  I don’t see him getting moved.  He is a very reliable pitcher.  He should be very valuable.  Then again, the way players have gotten traded over the past six months is comparable to pinballs.  Anything can happen.

I see the Nationals trading Jordan Zimmerman.  Though he’s been there awhile, and the Nats made him, I think he’s the odd man out.  Zimmerman is coming off of two great years.  Washington should get some nice pieces back.

Let’s stick with the Zimmerman trade for a second.  Say they trade him, but where?

The Brewers could easily be a possibility.  Milwaukee dealed Yovani Gallardo to Texas early this week.  It cleared a spot up.  Many thought they’d be after Scherzer, or someone I’ll get into later.

Just today, Milwaukee engaged in conversations with Philadelphia for Jonathan Papelbon.  It’s obvious they’re looking for someone.

The Marlins are another team that are in the market for a starter.  Jose Fernandez isn’t expected back until June, a kicker that could be a killer for Miami this season.  Why not call up Washington?  Miami doesn’t have great starters besides Fernandez.  Their bullpen is what they’ve been building.  It’s time to capitalize.

I expect Miami and Milwaukee to land someone.  That someone, is as follows.

James Shields remains the top free agent pitcher left.  His decision and signing is expected soon.    Multiple teams have made themselves clear whether they are out or not.  The Diamondbacks pulled out yesterday (unfortunately) (homerism).

Multiple teams claim to be in running for Shields.  Some we are questioning why they aren’t in the running.  The Yankees fit the bill (literally), but does Shields want money, or does Shields want to win?  Boston is team that could surely sign him.  They, after trading away most of their starters, need to put it back together.

Outliers include San Francisco and Toronto.   Boston seems really interesting to me.  The Red Sox have spent a ton of money this offseason.  They’re going all in, yet are rebuilding at the same time.  Shields would be the ace in Boston, but wouldn’t benefit from Fenway’s small dimensions.

Miami seems ideal to me.  Adding him would bolster a young rotation, and give this team a couple more wins this year.  It doesn’t mean it’d make them contenders, but in the long run, it could be huge.

I believe we’ll know Shields’ decision soon.  It’s getting down to the wire now.  This better happen fast.  Spring training isn’t far away.