Thursday, January 22, 2015


By a show of hands, who else is relieved that the combination of Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner did not dump over $200 million on Max Scherzer? I for one am ecstatic. I do believe though that the Nationals made a great play and put themselves in a great position to compete for a World Series ring.

Let me start by saying I love Max Scherzer... when he is NOT pitching against the Yankees. He has been a dominant force for the Detroit Tigers over the past few seasons. He’s averaged over 200 innings and 240 strikeouts since 2012. His move to the senior circuit should bolster his numbers and allow him greater success over a longer period of time. He is a perfect fit for the Nationals rotation that is already stacked.

When the Nats can throw out Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann in a three game set…. Forget about it! The following series, you may think the opposing team would catch a break. Think again my friends! Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister round out the four and five slots before you face Max Scherzer as the rotation turns over. That sends Tanner Roark and his sub 3.00 ERA in 2014, likely out to the bullpen. Without Scherzer, the Nationals rotation posted a ML leading 3.04 ERA in 2014. That, my friends, is some serious pitching! The signing could also provide some quality trade bait for the Nats with their surplus of pitching, as several sources have already speculated. Yankees perhaps? Perhaps…

Now, many of you probably are wondering why I’m so ecstatic about the Yankees not signing him. Let me give you three reasons. CC Sabathia’s contract, Alex Rodriguez‘s contract and Mark Teixeira’s contract.

When the Yankees signed these guys and others to long term deals, they won a World Series in 2009. That’s all well and good. I was as happy as anybody.  But four years later, starting in 2013, the Yankees had a bunch of old, injured players on their way down hill and their last two seasons have ended in September. That’s even after spending more than a half a BILLION dollars prior to the 2014 season!

I struggle with these long term big money deals. I struggled with not signing Robinson Cano. I loved Robbie, but he wanted a TON of money over a VERY LONG period of time, at the age of 31, and in the back of my mind, I think about signing these other players. All were right around the age of 30. Guess how old Max is? 30. Do you believe he will be the player worth $30 million dollars a year (or $15 million a year over 14 years as half his contract was deferred) at 35, 36 and 37 years old, the last three years of his contract?

The more conservative direction the Yankees took this off-season is a good sign for some of us Yankee fans. It’s tough for some fans to take, after getting accustomed to the never ending check book the Steinbrenner’s open.

But think about this; Look at how they won the four championships. The Core Four plus Bernie Williams were all home grown talent. Then they added some pieces to fill the puzzle as needed. They need to get back to that trend. Build from within and add pieces when necessary.  That starts with allowing prospects to grow. We need to stop trading them away for aging veterans.

Over the next few years, the Bombers will have some contract turn-over and some young talent primed to jump in at the big league level as well as new young pieces they've compiled. I like that approach. It’s giving me some confidence for the future of this organization. Following the last two years, my confidence level was dwindling big time!

Anyway, best of luck to Max Scherzer and the Nationals as they should be a force to be reckoned with.

Good thing they’re in the NL!

Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

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