An old poker adage is that the best players do not think of chips as money. In the highest cash games in the world, those that do not have the flinch factor are capable of making the moves to steal the pot. Washington seems to have mastered this art as they plunk over $200M for Max Scherzer. This is an addition to a team that might already have two aces that would be the number one starter for most teams in baseball. This is clearly meant for the post season as how many wins do they think they can now steal from a 96 win mark a year ago?
This Man Might Be Bumped From the Rotation
Tanner Roark might be demoted to the bullpen as a result of this free agent signing. How strong is the 27 year old? He was 15-10 with just a shade under 200 innings pitched. A WHIP 0f 1.092 with an ERA of 2.85. His WAR is 5.1 for goodness sakes. This is a pitcher well into his own with room for improvement and now he will probably be exiled to the bullpen. Why in the National League where the pitcher hits would they do this move?
Big Game Reputation Overblown
So then Washington must have over payed for him to get the franchise over the hump in the playoffs? Certainly the Nationals lack in post season success but don’t the Detroit Tigers do the same? Max is 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.133 Whip in the second season. He came through huge against the A’s but his last two games against Baltimore and Boston were both losses. If their was one failure that Detroit had was cashing in on their talent so Washington got their leader to address this same problem in their franchise?
The most fearsome starting rotation clearly resides in the nation’s capital. However, it is many long months to October. There is no regular season upside as this move will only be judged in terms of ring. One might not be enough so Max better be prepared to field the questions every year until he brings the World Series to the steps of the Capitol Building.