It looked like there was at least a decent chance that Scherzer would either re-sign with the Tigers or sign with another franchise during November.
But he didn’t.
As the calendar turned to December, many fans believed it was a fore-gone conclusion that the 2013 CY Young Award winner would find a home during the MLB Winter Meetings.
Plenty of players swapped uniforms, there were a multitude of trades and signings, but alas Scherzer was still homeless when team executives left the sight of the meetings in San Diego, California.
Christmas came and went, and the two-time All-Star still wasn’t in one of the 30 teams’ metaphorical stocking.
Monday morning, however, the pitcher finally found a home in the Nation’s Capital. Scherzer signed a 7-year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals – the second-largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history behind Clayton Kershaw.
The deal also includes a $50 million signing bonus – the largest signing bonus for any player in the history of the game – that will be spread out over several years. This is due to the fact that in Scherzer’s contract is a deferral clause, which structures the deal out to $15 million per year for the next 14 years.
That means the Washington Nationals will be paying him through the year 2028 – he will be 44 when the contract expires.
With the addition of Scherzer to the already impressive Nationals rotation, he now makes the starting five that includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio González the best in the majors.
It also makes Washington a serious title contender.
Washington was placed with the fourth-best odds to win the World Series heading into the New Year at 10/1 odds. But immediately after signing Scherzer, the Nationals became the favorite to win the crown, now at 5/1 odds.
Considering that the Nationals have made the playoffs two of the last three years and both trips ended in the Divisional Series, this move will certainly give Nats fans a lot of hope that this is their year.