Clarifying the money thing the Nats do clear up enough money over the next few years to keep at least two star players. But that is because they are losing 3 starters, a catcher, a center fielder, a shortstop, and a closer (and already lost - a guy good enough to close). That's a lot! So yes signing Scherzer means they don't HAVE to trade and that they can extend ZNN but they can't (and won't) keep everyone they are losing.
Well unless they decide to become a new big boy on the block. I talked about this before but it is far more an ownership decision than a location one. Is Detroit a huge market? Philadelphia? They could be a Yankees type if they want and that could mean signing everyone. Not likely but in baseball this is a personal choice
More likely is one of three scenarios.
- They deal ZNN (or more sensibly Fister, or possibly Strasburg) for prospects. Makes sense. He could potentially bring back a player that could help if not his year then next
- They deal no one. Let them walk for draft picks. I don't like this. You are talking about guys to be picked in June of 2016. Scherzer is not a win later acquisition. Help later makes no sense.
- They extend one (or more) of them. Not everyone. Just one. That would probably be enough with what's on hand and if you can keep Bryce
Are the Nats better and WS favorites? Yes (but not as much as you think) and yes (but they might have been before)
Do I like Scherzer more than ZNN? No. Do I like Scherzer & prospects more than ZNN? Depends
I preached patience before on not jumping on the Lerners. I'll do it again for not patting them on the back. Let's see where this all ends up