Nationals announce 7-year deal for Scherzer

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Washington, DC ( - The Washington Nationals made it official on Wednesday, announcing a seven-year contract for free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer.

The deal is reportedly worth $210 million. Scherzer turned down a $160 million offer last year from the Tigers.

"Whenever you can acquire a player of Max Scherzer's ability level, character and toughness on the mound, those opportunities are few and far between," Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said.

"We saw a player that we were extremely interested in. He fits all the criteria we're looking for in a Washington Nationals type of player. He's good between the lines, he's a tough guy, he takes the ball, he gets after it, he attacks hitters. And then in the clubhouse -- magnificent teammate, in the community does nothing but impress everybody he touches. You can't ask for more. He's the type of guy we're looking for."

The 30-year-old right-hander began his MLB career with the Diamondbacks organization after being a first-round draft pick in 2006. He broke into the majors in 2008 with Arizona and also played for the Diamondbacks in 2009 before being dealt to Detroit.

Scherzer won the 2013 AL Cy Young Award. That season he compiled a 21-3 mark with a 2.90 ERA. Last season, he went 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA.

"I think this team is capable of winning and winning a lot," Scherzer said. "When you look at near term and long term, this is an organization you want to be a part of. I want to win and that's why I'm here."

With the addition of Scherzer, assuming the Nationals don't deal away any of their top-line projected starters for 2015, Washington will field a rotation that will include Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister.

The Nationals had the best ERA in baseball among starting staffs last year at 3.04. They are also coming off a season in which they won 96 games and finished first in the NL East.

Over his career, Scherzer has posted a 91-50 record and a 3.58 ERA in 207 games (198 starts).