Max Scherzer believes in the Mets, apparently.
He believes in Mets money, there’s no question about that. Owner Steve Cohen, immediately after losing to pitcher Steven Matz, who signed a four-year, $ 44 million deal with the Cardinals last week, prompting the highly discussed angry tweet Cohen’s – has attracted the future Hall of Famer to his baseball club for a substantial amount of money.
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The reported contract for the 37-year-old Scherzer, who finished in the top five in the Cy Young voting, including three wins, in each of the past eight full seasons (not counting the shortened 2020 campaign), is certainly visual. . popping: three years, $ 130 million . That’s an average annual value of $ 43.3 million per year. Next the highest AAV list : Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole, for $ 36 million.
That’s a huge jump, from $ 36 million to $ 43.3 million. Especially for a 37-year-old pitcher. But the Mets believe in Scherzer’s ability to help them avoid the collapse that plunged their 2023 season, for good reason; The team was 29-45 in the second half of last season, while Scherzer’s two teams (the Nationals and Dodgers) had a perfect 13-0 record in their second-half starts, with Scherzer hitting the ball. 2.21 ERA.
So yeah, it’s no wonder the Mets believe in Scherzer. But it is at least somewhat surprising that the famously intense and competitive Scherzer agrees to play for the Mets, given their recent track record and the multiple problems they still have with the franchise at the moment. Like, you know, finding a manager for 2023 and beyond.
For the Mets, it wasn’t just about offering enough money to sign Scherzer. Cohen has money. The hardest part of Project Sign Max was always convincing him that the Mets have a plan in place that gives him a legitimate shot at winning the World Series in what will likely be his last multi-year contract.
Look at what Scherzer said in his first press conference after he was traded to the Dodgers: “I’m glad to be with an organization that wants to win and has its sights set on the ultimate prize. That’s what we play the game for, to do that. I’ve been in the league long enough to know that those things don’t always happen and they don’t always fit. “
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With the Nationals, Scherzer had veto power for whatever trade the team wanted to make, so he had a lot of control in the process and ended up pitching for the reigning World Series champions, a team on track to win more than 100 games. . . As a free agent, he had total and complete power over his destiny.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Scherzer believes the Mets are destined to win 100 games every year he’s there. But it does mean that he believes the team has a chance to compete for the World Series titles. Let’s go back to the Dodgers press conference: “In October baseball, funny things happen sometimes,” he said.
Fun things like a Nationals team that once went 19-31 on fire, won 93 games and claimed a wild card spot, then went through the National League side of the playoffs and won four road games in the World Series. to claim the first title of the franchise. never championship.
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That team was led by a 1-2 punch from Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, who combined for a 2.17 ERA in 66 1/3 postseason innings. It’s not hard to see how Scherzer could imagine him and Jacob deGrom doing something similar.
And yes, the Mets still have problems, plural. They need to hire a manager and basically the entire coaching staff. They could use another starter, as Marcus Stroman is unlikely to return and Noah Syndergaard is now out of the Mets’ equation. They got their center fielder, Starling Marte, a big boost, and brought in outfielder Mark Canha and versatile infielder Eduardo Escobar. They could use a couple of bullpen arms, especially a left-handed reliever with Aaron Loupe, who had a 0.95 ERA in 65 games, signing with the Angels.
Skeptical Mets fans will probably remain skeptical, they’ve seen too much, but the Mets sold Max, and that should make them happy.