It's all a bit overwhelming, no? All the stories, the numbers, years and rumors of potential future moves that have hit the internet in the last 24 hours. It's been hard keeping track of it all and hitting that RT button over and over again each time a new story comes out...
Washington shocked the baseball world last night by signing Max Scherzer, then the Nationals shocked everyone all over again this morning when it was announced that they gave the 30-year-old right-handed free agent a $210M deal that, with deferred money, will pay him $15M a year over the next 14 years.
The Nats added the top arm on the market to an already-impressive starting rotation. What will they do next? How does the deal break down? Are the Nationals done? There's already talk of the defending NL East champs adding a bullpen arm with reports saying they have talked to free agent reliever Casey Janssen.
Before acquiring infielder Yunel Escobar from the Oakland A's last week, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo hinted that the defending NL East Champions weren't done building for 2015.
"We're still working on a lot of possibilities," Rizzo told MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden.
"And with the front office minds that we have here, there's a lot of creativity that goes into a lot of these decisions and we'll see where we end up."
The Yunel Escobar deal surprised some, but the deal with Scherzer shocked the baseball world. How has the baseball world reacted? Let's see...
On Max Scherzer's 7-year/$210M deal:
• "Instead, the Nationals will pay Scherzer $15 million per season, but do so for 14 years; essentially, they’ve deferred half of each season’s salary seven years into the future." - "Max Scherzer and When $210 Million Isn’t $210 Million" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball
FanGraphs: Max Scherzer and When $210 Million Isn't $210 Million http://t.co/8CDzj71IZt— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) January 19, 2015
• "It has been calculated that one marginal win is worth $7 million and we can increase that by five percent each year to figure out the value the Nationals can expect to receive from Scherzer." - "Max Scherzer is worth his seven-year, $210 million contract" - Neil Greenberg, The Washington Post
• "He's going to get all $210 million, but with the payments being spread out over such a long period of time, inflation all but guarantees that the $105 million in deferred money he will receive will actually be less valuable than it would be if he was getting all of it over the life of the contract." - "Max Scherzer's Contract Isn't Quite As Impressive As It Seems" - Tom Ley, Deadspin
• "That is why Washington likely will line up Scherzer, Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez and go for it. Yep, Gio Gonzalez as a No. 5 starter." - "How Nationals’ $210M Max Scherzer deal transforms MLB" - Joel Sherman, New York Post
• "The Washington Nationals‘ unexpected deal for free agent pitcher Max Scherzer is worth $210 million over seven years, according to two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations..." - "Max Scherzer’s deal with Nats is worth $210 million, the richest ever for a right-hander" - Barry Svrluga and Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
• "During the Baseball Winter Meetings in December, Rizzo said the Nationals would not acquire a big-name pitcher unless they traded one of their starting pitchers." - "Scherzer has 7-year, $210M deal with Nats" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Good as he was in 2014, Tanner Roark probably isn’t a five-win pitcher going forward. In fact, according to FanGraphs, he wasn’t one last season either." - "What Signing Max Scherzer Means To The Washington Nationals" - Matthew Kory, Forbes
Nationals sign Max Scherzer: What does it mean in 2015?
Max Scherzer’s contract details, per reports: 7 years, $210M, including record $50M bonus Money to be paid over 14 years— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 19, 2015
• "Scherzer excels in getting misses on swings against his off-speed stuff. Scherzer got batters to miss on 33 percent of their swings against his slider on two-strike counts in 2014..." - "Max Scherzer reportedly agrees to deal with Washington Nationals" - ESPN Stats & Info
• "See, the Washington Nationals don't have much room to get better. Definitely not a ton better. Last season they won 96 games and racked up the best run differential in the National League." - "Washington Nationals won't be better with Max Scherzer" - Rob Neyer, FOX Sports
• "Scherzer is an outstanding pitcher who has 492 strikeouts in his past 434 2/3 innings, and perhaps he'll be the guy who pushes the Nationals to a place they haven't gone before, the World Series." - "MLB top-10 team rankings: Does Max Scherzer improve No. 1 Nationals?" - Buster Olney, ESPN
• "The Nationals have several options available for trade. Gio Gonzalez is on a team-friendly deal, Stephen Strasburg's name has been floated around lately..." - "Could Tigers trade for Jordan Zimmermann now that Max Scherzer is heading to the Nationals?" - Rob Rogacki, Bless You Boys
My Col: Signing Scherzer makes Nats better — right now & beyond. DC now nearly certain to get '18 All-Star game, too. http://t.co/lZ23QFpsuH— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) January 19, 2015
• "[T]he Nats not only added an enormous talent but they also gave themselves an incredible, almost bewildering assortment of variations to remain excellent in the future..." - "Signing Max Scherzer makes Washington Nationals better — right now and beyond" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
• "Whether Rizzo deals one of his starting pitchers is a story for another day, but every team has a need for starting pitching…..well, except the Nationals, so Rizzo can be patient." - "Nationals sign Max Scherzer: Fantasy Impact" - Ray Guilfoyle, Fake Teams
• "The Nationals came from seemingly out of the picture to sign Scherzer. The Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs all seemed like likely suitors for his services." - "MLB hot stove: Washington Nationals agree to contract with Max Scherzer; Do they now have best rotation in baseball?" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com
Funny how every time a Scott Boras client is close to signing, there appears a 'mystery team'! I'd call his bluff and offer 20 mil less.— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) January 19, 2015
• "Until late Sunday, when reports surfaced of the Nationals’ interest, they seemed wholly uninterested in dropping nearly $200 million over more than half a decade on a front-line starter." - "More on what the Nationals agreeing to a deal with Max Scherzer means" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "For the time being Scherzer gives Washington a very nice rotation (on paper) with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, and Doug Fister, with Tanner Roark — a five-win player with a .2.85 ERA in 2014 — presumably sliding into the bullpen." - "Max Scherzer to the Nationals: Smart Move, But Guarantees Nothing in October" - Mike Cardillo, The Big Lead
• "The Nationals are clearly the best team in baseball, which means it's time to look for cautionary tales." - "The Nationals are even better with Max Scherzer, so let's pick them apart" - Grant Brisbee, SBNation.com
• "We also have to remember that last year's Nationals rotation posted a combined WAR of 17.6, which was the best in the NL, and Scherzer will presumably be replacing Tanner Roark..." - "Stacking the Nats' new rotation against history" - Austin Laymance, nationals.com
• "The best pitching prospect in the minor leagues, Lucas Giolito, is a Nat. So is A.J. Cole, who will be ready to step into the rotation by 2016. Joe Ross is a fast mover, Erick Fedde a high-end talent coming off Tommy John surgery and Reynaldo Lopez just your typical comes-outta-nowhere-throwing-100-mph right-hander." - "Why Nationals should keep their loaded staff together, even after adding Max Scherzer" - Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
The Nationals are a Ferrari amid Hondas and Toyotas. Time for them to step on the gas. Don't make a trade. Column: http://t.co/8L6SsHR4LE— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2015
• "But to what extent did Lerner enable Rizzo to plan for this moment? Did the owner give Rizzo enough time to arrange a trade involving right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and/or another of his high-salaried players?" - "Washington Nationals agree to seven-year deal with free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer, but is his signing part of GM Mike Rizzo's grand plan to ship off power arms on walk years, or a sign that owner Ted Lerner is sparing no expense to win in 2015?" - Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com
• "Neither Max Scherzer nor the Nationals have been complete on their own. They are a marriage made from disappointing Octobers, and together assure that the Nats are the team to beat in 2015." - "Rich getting richer: Scherzer makes Nats clear favorites" - Phil Rogers, nationals.com
Fmr Braves coach Leo Mazzone, who knows bit about loaded rotations: "(Nationals) just signed an ace, and I think they just won the pennant."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 19, 2015
• "The difference here is that it takes a team that won the most games in the National League last year and only ups its standing as we head into spring training." - "Nationals Pastime: So what now?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "Svrluga and Kilgore are reporting that the Nationals have been willing to trade Zimmermann, who has one remaining season before free agency, but that the Scherzer deal does not make a deal mandatory." - "10 questions about Max Scherzer and the Nationals" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post
Scott Boras clients on #Nats: Werth, Harper, Strasburg, Espinosa, Rendon and now $200 million man Max Scherzer.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 19, 2015
• "Scherzer will be the Nats’ most accomplished starter with a Cy Young award on his mantle, and he also boasts four years of playoff experience." - "Nationals sign top free agent Max Scherzer" - Mark Zuckerman and Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Rizzo is typically against long-term deals for free agent starting pitchers due to the large financial commitment and lack of success of past deals around baseball." - "Nationals Pastime: Reports: Nats to sign Max Scherzer to seven-year deal" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
My sense is Scherzer's deal doesn't change the Nats' view of their other starters. They'll listen, but they don't feel forced to deal any.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) January 19, 2015
Sad NL East Team Reactions:
• "Scherzer’s arrival in Washington would figure to also make life harder for the Mets, who hope to be able to contend in the NL East thanks to a strong rotation." - "Look away, Mets: Max Scherzer, Nationals agree on monster deal" - Dan Martin, New York Post
• "The Nats are loading up to win a World Series, which they haven’t yet done. The Braves are trying to look presentable by 2017, when they move to Cobb County." - "The gap between the Nationals and the Braves just got wider" - Mark Bradley, AJC.com
Who needs that MASN money?:
• "The Baltimore Orioles-controlled MASN is seeking to vacate an MLB Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee ruling in favor of the Washington Nationals regarding their future local TV rights fees." - "Passing of torch includes unfinished business" - Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal