Max Scherzer, the Washington Nationals ace and a National League Cy Young Award finalist, told MLB.com he plans to pitch for Team U.S.A. in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, which takes place in March 2017.
"I've been asked to participate, and I would love to do it," Scherzer said.
The 32-year-old native of St. Louis and former AL Cy Young Award winner with the Tigers will join forces with Jim Leyland, his former manager in Detroit who is managing the United States' squad in 2017.
"He loves the game more than anybody," Scherzer said of Leyland. "That's why I want to play for Team USA. I know everything he's about. That's why he's always been one of my favorite managers."
One of the games' best pitchers, Scherzer posted a 20-7 record with a 2.96 ERA, 284 strikeouts and a 0.968 WHIP in 228 1/3 innings over 34 starts with the Nationals in 2016. He is the first pitcher since Sandy Koufax in 1965 to lead the NL in wins, strikeouts, WHIP and innings pitched.
Scherzer represented the United States once before on the collegiate national team in 2005.
Team U.S.A. has a lifetime 10-10 record and has never medaled in three prior Classic tournaments.