Free agent pitcher Max Scherzer has signed with the Washington Nationals for 7 years and is going to be paid 210 million dollars. The deal will be spread out giving Scherzer 15 million every year for the next 14 years. This instantly makes the Nationals World Series favorites, their rotation now includes; Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Doug Fister. That is a star filed rotation and this means they might be a little more willing to trade one of those starters.
One option would be to trade last years ace, Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is a free agent next off season, so this pitcher seems the most likely. The reason they would do this trade is because Zimmerman will demand big money, which they will have to spread throughout their team. The list for 2016 Nationals free agents includes Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, and Denard Span. This means they could trade Zimmerman and get a few top prospects for one season.
Another option would be to trade former top prospect Stephen Strasburg, who is set to hit the market in 2017. Trading Strasburg would give the Nationals a couple top prospects and would probably bring the biggest return out of all of their pitchers. He is two years younger than Zimmerman and is believed to have a bigger ceiling than Zimmerman does. The Nationals will not be as likely to move Strasburg as they are with Zimmerman because of how high of hopes they have for him.
The Nationals would have a lot of suiters hoping to pry away Zimmerman or Strasburg from the Nationals. Teams believed to get in on the mix for these pitchers are the Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Tigers, Padres, and Rangers. The Red Sox would be in on the mix because they need a true number one on their staff and have a very deep farm system. The Cardinals would be in the mix because they could use a top tier starter to go along with Wainwright to form a dynamic duo. I believe the Cubs will be in the mix because they have made it known that the time is now and they lack starting pitching besides Lester who is a solid one starter and Arrieta who is a solid three starter . The Cubs also have a very good farm system who would make the deal easy for the Nationals. The Rangers would be in the mix because they still need pitching depth in their rotation. Now after getting Gallardo they still have a bunch of question marks in their rotation, like Matt Harrison recovering from back surgery, Perez coming off of Tommy John Surgery, and Holland and Darvish had injuries last season. The San Diego Padres are also a key player in these discussions, as A. J. Preller has done all but add pitching. After the loss of Max Scherzer, the Tigers picked up starting pitcher Alfredo Simon, but could use another star pitcher with the contract of David Price expiring after the upcoming season.
The Nationals rotation has a case for four possible number one type starters in their rotation. Whether they trade a starter or not they will still have a very good starting rotation. The Nationals now have insurance encase Zimmerman and/or Strasburg move elsewhere. The Nationals would like to lock up Span, Desmond, and probably two of the three pitchers hitting the market the next two years. The Nationals will be good for years to come with all of the young core pieces they have in their lineup and pitching rotation.
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Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.