Scherzer: Nationals offer was “jaw-dropping”

The Washington Nationals introduced Max Scherzer in a Wednesday afternoon press conference, and you figured there would be a lot of talk about two things: The Nationals rotation is really good, and the Scherzer contract is really big.

Asked why he chose Washington, Scherzer said: “Winning. I think this team is capable of winning and winning a lot. When you look at the near term and the long term, this is an organization you want to be a part of.”

That said, he admitted his reaction to the contract offer — a seven-year, $210 million contract with a good share of deferred money — was one of astonishment.

“It was jaw-dropping,” he said. “You just can’t even fathom it sometimes. You work so hard to put yourself in this position. And for me, like I said, it’s all about winning. I don’t play this game for money. Yet at the same time, when you have an offer like that, it makes you go wow. I’m very fortunate.”

Scherzer told MLB Network that the deferred money was the Nationals’ idea, and he was on board with it. He later told MLB Network Radio’s Mike Ferrin that the late-emerging market for him did not test his faith that free agency would work out for him.

“I knew this deal was going to get done,” he said. “I knew there were a lot of moving parts throughout the league that had to happen before my market would pick up.”

Scherzer put on a Nationals jersey with number 31 — his old number from the University of Missouri. He wore number 37 in Detroit, but that number belongs to Stephen Strasburg in Washington.

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