Mike Rizzo reflects on Max Scherzer’s contract, place in Nationals lore

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Matt Weyrich
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Rizzo reflects on Scherzer’s contract, place in Nats lore originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

There are free agent steals, and then there are $210 million free agent steals. Max Scherzer qualifies as the latter, having signed a seven-year deal with the Nationals in the 2014-15 offseason that has since turned into one of the best free-agent signings in MLB history.

Since coming to Washington, Scherzer has earned two Cy Youngs and placed among the top 5 three times. He won three consecutive NL strikeout titles, tossed a pair of no-hitters and completed a 20-strikeout game. In 2019, he went 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA in the playoffs to help the Nationals win their first World Series.

It’s hard to justify a $210 million deal any better than Scherzer has, especially considering the leadership role he’s taken on in the clubhouse in addition to piling up the accolades. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on Nationals President and GM Mike Rizzo, who joined MLB Network on Wednesday to talk about the 36-year-old ace.

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“We feel good about it,” Rizzo said of Scherzer’s contract. “Our mantra here is when we are talking that kind of years and that kind of money, we like to say that you’re signing the person more so than the player and the people that we’ve given these long-term contracts to are extraordinary people that happen to be great players. I think that’s the best way to kind of marry the two and yeah, we feel good about Max, his history with us, his presence and he’s a guy that will be in Nationals lore for a long time. [He is] a guy who probably won’t have to buy a drink ever again in the DMV.”

Scherzer is now in the final year of that contract, with no assurances that he’ll be back in Washington beyond this season. But regardless of what happens in the future, Scherzer’s legacy in D.C. has already been cemented.