Max Scherzer is now a New York Met. Let that sink in for a second. The three-time Cy Young award winner, future first-ballot Hall of Famer, and current top-five pitcher in the world shocked us all by agreeing to move back east but to pitch for the Mets.
Following a trend of Boras clients signing before the likely lockout, Max Scherzer agreed to an extremely lucrative three-year contract worth $130 million.
The expectations around the league were that the Missouri native would opt to stay on the west coast, and the prospect of it was pretty likely with plenty of interested suitors from the Dodgers to the Angels. However, once again we received a reminder that money talks. Far be it from me to state the final dollar figure as the only reason behind Scherzer’s choice, but at the same time, it is a certain fact no one outbid Steve Cohen on this instance.
It feels like ages ago, but in fact, it was not even a full week ago when Cohen made headlines with his tweet openly criticizing the behavior of Steven Matz’ agent during negotiations with his club, following the southpaw’s departure to the St Louis Cardinals. Inadvertently or not, that caused a big impression, but a few days later it looks as though Matz was a much smaller part of the offseason plan for New York. All of these deals didn’t start and finish after that.
Scherzer was never getting the biggest contract in total value because of his age, however, it was basically a given that he’d break Gerrit Cole’s annual average value record of $36 million. To say that he did is an understatement. Scherzer shattered the mark as he stands to make $43.3 million over the next three seasons from the Mets and that’s not even counting all of the deferred money he has coming in from the Nationals.
Usually, when a player signs a deal to break the annual average value record in any sport, it comes almost as a courtesy from an agreement to make a statement from both sides (player and team) in resetting the market. On this particular occasion, it was more about the Mets making sure they got their man by blowing everyone else out of the water.
Scherzer now joins Jacob DeGrom atop the Mets rotation forming the most formidable duo in the sport and arguably of our generation. That’s five Cy Young awards and eleven top 5 finishes for those of you keeping score.
Between Max Scherzer, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar, the New York Mets have already committed $176.5 million in guaranteed money and they don’t appear to be done, in fact far from it. When all is said and done the Mets will at the very least compete with the Dodgers for the highest payroll in the sport.
It is definitely the dawn of a new era for the New York Mets. The expectations will be higher as this team joins its new place in the pecking order of the sport.