There is an increasing sense throughout baseball that starting pitcher Max Scherzer will end up signing with the Nationals, according to multiple league sources. Though it is unclear if Scherzer will definitely be heading to Washington, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports notes that the ace right-hander is likely to have a deal soon and is believed to be discussing seven-year pacts with the Nationals and one other mystery team.
According to multiple reports, the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Angels Astros and Dodgers are all out of the Scherzer sweepstakes, and the Nationals' front office is optimistic about their chances of signing the righty. The market for Scherzer has been murky to this point, though the Tigers, Cardinals and Yankees have all been thought of as potential landing spots in addition to the Nationals, who could move Doug Fister or Jordan Zimmermann if a deal with Scherzer gets done. It is unknown who the other finalist for Scherzer is at this time, though he is expected to command a seven-year deal in the $180-200 million range. The Tigers reportedly offered him a six-year extension worth $144 million last season.
Scherzer, 30, has had back-to-back excellent seasons with Detroit, earning the Cy Young Award in 2013 with a 21-3 record and 2.90 ERA before following that up with an 18-5 mark and 3.15 ERA in 2014. He is one of three top-line starters who were available on the free-agent market this winter, joining Jon Lester, who went to the Cubs, and James Shields, who is still available.