Update #2 (12:43 AM ET): Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for more than $180 million.
Update (12:20 AM ET): William Ladson of MLB.com confirms the deal.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Nationals have a seven-year in place with starter Max Scherzer. The amount of the deal is not yet known, though it’s likely to be north of the $144 million, six-year offer (and the $24 million average annual value) he rejected from the Tigers in the spring. It was reported earlier that the Nationals were one of two teams in talks with the right-hander.
With Scherzer in the mix, the Nationals may explore trading either Jordan Zimmermann or Stephen Strasburg according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Scherzer, 30, has been one of baseball’s best starters over the past two seasons, owning a 39-8 record with a 3.02 ERA and a 492/119 K/BB ratio over 434 2/3 innings. He led the league in wins and made the American League All-Star team in both years and earned the 2013 AL Cy Young award.
As MLB Pipeline points out on Twitter, the Nationals are forfeiting pick #27 in the 2015 draft with the signing of Scherzer. The Tigers gain pick #35.
Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.
That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.
Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.
Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.