(Cardinals @ Mets on Fox Sports Midwest)
When left-hander Max Scherzer starts throwing against the Mets Thursday night in Washington, he will be getting paid to do just that.
The Nationals became the latest MLB team to sign its star players to lavish contracts in recent weeks, inking Scherzer to a massive $210 million deal in what is now looking to be the highest paid pitcher in baseball history.
Scherzer, 32, has emerged as one of the premier starters in baseball in recent years and, despite a sub-par outing Tuesday night in a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals, still leads the majors in wins with 15 through 32 starts. This year he also leads the National League in strikeouts per nine innings with a 12.6 mark, along with a 3.25 ERA.
In his career, Scherzer is 35-15 with a 3.22 ERA and 1,155 strikeouts over 418 innings pitched. Scherzer has won 20 games or more three times in his career (2010, 2014 and 2018), all while pitching for Washington.
The big signing from Washington, however, has been closer Brandon Kintzler, who agreed on a two-year deal with a $10 million base.
The 31-year-old Kintzler, who has split his time the past two seasons between the Orioles and Brewers, has been the league’s ERA leader for much of his career. In 2017, he posted a 2.42 ERA in 77.2 innings pitched. Last season, Kintzler posted a career-best ERA of 2.48, serving in a pivotal role for Milwaukee, posting 48 strikeouts in 38.2 innings, while allowing just 46 hits and 21 earned runs.
The Nationals may not have reached any other deals, but they have made moves to shore up some areas in the midst of what has been a disappointing year for the baseball franchise. The first major deal Washington made came in early May, when they acquired reliever Kelvin Herrera from Kansas City for hard-throwing right-handed starter Yordano Ventura. Herrera has been steady for the Nationals, putting together a 2.38 ERA in 59 appearances, spanning 50.2 innings.
The Nationals also signed second baseman Daniel Murphy last month to a two-year, $23 million deal and added outfielder Michael A. Taylor in a non-waiver trade with the Tigers in late June.
Washington sits at 37-32 in the loss column, a full 13 games behind the New York Mets, who own the NL’s best record.
The Washington Post notes that $1 billion total has already been spent in free agency on MLB players this offseason, topping the $940 million spent in last season’s pool.
Fox Sports Midwest will televise Thursday’s game against the Nats. Coverage starts at 7:10pm CT.