By Marvin A Azrak
Scherzer: will now take one hefty bite out of the Big Apple.
The Mets signed three-time CY Young award winner Max Scherzer. They agreed to pay a record-setting $43 million on average over the next three seasons to the 37-year-old, with $58 of the $130 million taking effects in 2023 followed by a player option and $29 million to follow in 2024. Max has had an illustrious career spanning 14 seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks(2008-2009), Detroit Tigers(2010-2014), and Washington Nationals(2015-2020), where he was the starting pitcher in game 7 of the 2019 World Series to help propel DC to its maiden title. Scherzer was then dealt away to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he went 7-0 in 10 starts with a 1.98 ERA to polish off a regular season where he earned the title of CY Young finalist. In the postseason, “Mad Max” allowed his contagious competitive fire to kick in and, on two days rest, closed out a 107 win Giants team in game five of the NLDS to notch his first career save on a memorable night in San Francisco. It was a no-brainer for New York, who will now pair saw Scherzer with fellow two-time CY Young award winner Jacob Degrom for a compelling 1-2 punch atop the rotation that will likely feature the flamethrowers one-upping each other for CY Young honors.
Metsville had seen plenty of vintage Max over the last 14 years, who in 26 career starts against them, has posted a prolific stat line that carries a 2.68 ERA, 213 strikeouts, 0.94 WHIP, and one no-hitter.
The $43 million AAV raised a new bar for a nine-figure fireballer contract ahead of the CBA(Collective Bargaining agreement) expiration on December 1st, surpassing Gerrit Cole’s record of $36 million in 2019. The sum is also more than the total payroll of the Pittsburg Pirates($40.2 million) and Baltimore Orioles($36.7 million) in 2022.
This was another victory for a staffed Mets fanbase who again reap the rewards of management’s willingness to pay the big market like bucks under Steve Cohen. It took New York three tries before they reeled in a fish at the Pitchers market, as Noah Syndergaard bolted for the Angels, and Steven Matz backstabbed Cohen by agreeing to a deal with the St Louis Cardinals after giving him the verbal impression he was coming to Queens.
For new GM Billy Eppler, it capped off a monumental weekend for the spending spree included acquisitions of INF/OF Eduardo Escobar(2 years, $20 million) OF Mark Cahana(2 years $26.5 million) and ring leader OF Starling Marte at four years $78 million. Overall, the Mets spent a hefty $254.5 million in four days, with $85.625 million coming off the books in 2022.
The Amazins went 77-85 in 2021 and lacked offensive talent, starting pitching depth, identity at the back end of their bullpen. Now, they’ve made headway in two of three categories, with the latter one up next. It’s a move that has uplifted New York from a subpar club to a roster that screams playoff potential, especially with two workhorses leading the charge at the top of the starting rotation. But there remains much work to be done and many questions to be answered as in how committed are the Mets to fielding a title contender as they’re still in need of a manager, two bullpen arms / a starter to sure up the pitching, and a bench player to provide infield depth to the roster. Regardless, Mets fans deserve to rejoice as they at long last have not just one but two future Hall of Famers to lean on in dire situations.