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Nationals go big, sign Max Scherzer to $210 million contract

The Washington Nationals aren’t fooling around. The Nats have reportedly handed Max Scherzer a $210 million contract that will lock him up for 14 years, and comes with a whopping $50 million signing bonus.

The contract is almost as impressive as Washington’s opening day rotation now looks, with the Nationals rolling out a murderer’s row of pitching that now includes Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez, all of whom finished the 2014 season with an ERA under 4.00.

The move also cements Washington as MLB’s 2015 favorites, with their odds to win the 2015 World Series listed at +300, just ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In case you missed it, Scherzer has been one of the most consistent arms in baseball over the past few seasons in particular, racking up 39-8 record in his last two campaigns with Detroit, as well as the 2013 Cy Young Award.

The deal that Scherzer now has looks all the sweeter given the criticism the pitcher took last year after he turned down a $144 million extension with the Tigers. Now, after pitching another complete gem of a season, the former Tiger will sign the second-biggest contract ever given to a pitcher. Not bad.

The reality is, the Nationals already had the best rotation in baseball, so the move puts them in an interesting position in terms of managing their assets. It has been suggested that the team could move Zimmerman or Strasburg  in an effort to improve the rest of the team off the mound, if only to make enough room to start the elite pitching that they have.

An obvious trade partner could be the Boston Red Sox, who now have a stuffed lineup of hitters but lack pitching. Odds are, this is not the end of the trading window in D.C.

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