By: Michael Ganci

Rapid Reaction: Will Scherzer Force Mets Hand?


Around midnight last night, most media outlets reported that free agent pitcher Max Scherzer, a former AL Cy Young Award winner, had agreed to a seven-year contract with the Mets’ rival Washington Nationals, making their rotation scary good to say the least.

Jon Heyman was the first with the report:

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It was no secret that the Nationals had an excellent rotation to begin with, sporting Jordan Zimmerman,, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. With the addition of Scherzer, there’s going to be an odd man out, and reports indicate that Zimmermann is likely that man.

One thing to keep an eye on is the availability of Strasburg, although I don’t believe for a second he will be moved. Yesterday, various outlets reported the Nationals would be willing to listen on him, but are much more inclined to move Zimmermann if they made a move on Strasburg. Well, the deal is done, so will they keep all six and have a dominant pitcher in the pen? My guess is Zimmerman is dealt for two or three top prospects.

Another option for the Nationals is to package Zimmerman and Ian Desmond together for a monster package of kids. The Mets had talked about a three-way deal with the Rays and Nationals, where Desmond would have ended up in Queens, but the Mets were reluctant to give up Noah Syndergaard for a one-year rental, and I am inclined to agree with that assessment. The Nationals could afford to move Desmond because, as of right now, Danny Espinosa is on the bench with the recent acquisition of Yunel Escobar from the Athletics.

Impact on Mets

Some might say it’s conceivable that this move could force the Mets to act, but let’s not kid ourselves. Before this deal was signed, the Mets were clearly the inferior team in the NL East. With the Nationals the clear top dog, the Mets and Marlins will likely be fighting for second place. The old man Phillies and the rebuilding Braves are not likely to compete throughout the season in 2015.

There’s a plan in Queens, and that’s clear. Despite how this move might make the front office cringe, I’m sure they will stay the course. Upgrades are always being looked for, but they will only make a deal if it’s best for the team and best for business. Those expecting a Troy Tulowitzki or major impact trade as a response will be sorely disappointed.

The Nationals have equipped themselves with one hell of a pitching rotation, maybe some would call it the new murderer’s row.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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