When Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo spoke to reporters after acquiring Yunel Escobar from the Oakland A's last week, filling the Nats' hole at second base, he said that though they found the infielder they were after all winter, the defending NL East Champs weren't necessarily done.
"'We’re not ruling out adding any more personnel via trades or via free agents or minor-league free agents,'" Rizzo said, as quoted by NatsInsider.com's Chase Hughes.
"'We’re still a month away from the start of spring training and, believe me, we’re not taking any vacations or anything like that.'"
But Max Scherzer? The rumors started late this afternoon and an hour or so back it was said to be "close" but not happening tonight. So much for that.
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman was the first to confirm that the Nationals and Scherzer had a deal:
Max scherzer has an agreement on a 7-year deal with nats. Dollars are not known.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 19, 2015
Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga too confirmed the surprising addition to what was already one of if not the best rotations in baseball:
The Nationals have agreed to a seven-year deal with right-hander Max Scherzer, according to a source with direct knowledge.
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) January 19, 2015
Scherzer, as reported everywhere last March, turned down what was said to be a 6-year/$144M offer from the Detroit Tigers he pitched for from 2010-2015. The 30-year-old right-hander was coming off a solid +5.6 fWAR season which saw him go (18-5) in 33 starts with a 3.15 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 63 walks (2.57 BB/9) and 252 Ks (10.29 K/9) in 220 ⅓ IP.
The veteran righty who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks while Rizzo was the scouting director with the D-Backs will now join the GM in the nation's capital.
More info when it's available.
But as of tonight, Max Scherzer is a Washington National and Rizzo has once again shocked the baseball world.