The Washington Nationals have signed the biggest prize in free agency, agreeing to a 7-year, $US210 million contract with former Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
While the total value of the deal was shocking to many it is actually more team-friendly than it sounds. The deal is unusual in that half of the money is deferred.
While the contract has an average annual value of $US30 million, Scherzer will actually be paid $US15 million per year for 14 years. Even the $US50 million “signing bonus” is deferred and will be paid in equal installments throughout the life of the contract according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Both of those details make the real value of the contract substantially less than the face value of $US210 million.
More importantly for the rest of Major League Baseball and the 2015 season, the acquisition of Scherzer makes the Nationals the favourites to win the World Series at 6/1 according to Bovada.lv. Immediately after the 2014 season, the Nationals were the second-favourite at 8/1, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at 7/1.
A look at the Nationals starting pitchers shows why the Nationals are now the team to beat.
That is six legit starting pitchers which means one of these guys is going to be traded or moved to the bullpen.
In a league where many teams struggle to find two top starting pitchers, the Nationals have deck full of Aces.
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