Sunday, January 16, 2022

Max Scherzer, Mets agree to record contract as right-hander signs three-year, $130 million deal

Max Scherzer is in agreement with the New York Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal. CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirmed the two sides were putting the finishing touches on the contract Monday afternoon. The deal will give the right-handed starter the largest average annual value of any MLB player at $43.3 million. The Dodgers (who traded for Scherzer at July’s deadline), Giants and Angels were also rumored to be fighting for Scherzer’s services, but it appears they were all outbid by the Mets.

Some details of Scherzer’s contract:

  • Breaks Gerrit Cole’s previously held record ($36 million) for highest AAV in MLB history
  • Reportedly includes an opt out after the second year and a full no-trade clause
  • Is the fifth-largest deal in Mets history in terms of guaranteed money (shortstop Francisco Lindor signed the largest deal in club history at $341 million)

Scherzer, 37, will be joining his fifth team in 15 years in the majors. He came up with the Diamondbacks, was traded to the Tigers, signed as a free agent with the Nationals and was traded to the Dodgers last season. In his career, he’s 190-97 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), 1.08 WHIP and 3,020 strikeouts in 2,536 2/3 innings. The eight-time All-Star has won three Cy Young Awards.

Last season, Scherzer finished third in NL Cy Young voting (his sixth top-three finish and eighth top-five finish) when he went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236 strikeouts against 36 walks in 179 1/3 innings. After the trade, the Dodgers went 11-0 in his starts while he had a 1.98 ERA. In the playoffs, he had a 2.16 ERA, though the Dodgers lost two of his four starts. 

Even at his age, the most likely path for Scherzer in 2022 is once again to pitch like an ace. 

That means if the Mets get Jacob deGrom back to full health it’s at least possible they’ll have the two best pitchers in baseball in the same rotation. At the very least, they have a pair of aces atop the rotation. The move also comes just a few days after the Mets stocked up on the position-player side by landing center fielder Starling Marte and utility men Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar

Former Marlins president David Samson broke down Scherzer’s deal on Monday’s Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:

Though the Mets lost Noah Syndergaard to the Angels via free agency, Marcus Stroman is a current free agent and owner Steve Cohen was peeved they didn’t land lefty Steven Matz in an attempted reunion, they still could have a full rotation without adding anyone else now with Scherzer aboard. Behind deGrom and Scherzer there would be Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill and David Peterson. Lefty Joey Lucchesi had Tommy John surgery late last June and could provide depth late in the season, too. 

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