Report: Max Scherzer, Mets Finalizing 3-Year, $130M Contract with MLB-Record AAV

Adam WellsNovember 29, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the MLB National League Wild Card game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 6, 2021 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Max Scherzer is on the move after reportedly agreeing to a free-agent deal with the New York Mets.

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets will pay Scherzer $130 million over three years. Andy Martino of SNY noted the deal has an opt-out after two seasons.

The average of $43.3 million per season would set a new MLB record, topping Gerrit Cole's mark of $36 million per year.

Scherzer split last season between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was brilliant for both teams. 

The 37-year-old had the lowest ERA of his career (2.46) and led Major League Baseball with a 0.86 WHIP and 6.0 hits allowed per nine innings. 

The Dodgers made the biggest splash prior to the July 30 trade deadline last season when they acquired Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, Donovan Casey and Gerardo Carrillo. 

Both Scherzer and Turner were instrumental in Los Angeles' postseason push. The three-time Cy Young winner went 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 68.1 innings over 11 starts.

Coming off a 106-win campaign, this is a crucial offseason for the Dodgers. For the first time during their recent run of success, the front office has a number of major roster decisions to make.

Scherzer, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Taylor and Kenley Jansen are among their notable players eligible for free agency.

Despite being at an age when most pitchers are trying to hang on, Scherzer remains one of the most dominant players in MLB. The eight-time All-Star ranked fifth among pitchers in FanGraphs' wins above replacement (5.4). 

Scherzer seemed like he would be a priority for the franchise. Instead, he will be another ace for the Mets alongside Jacob deGrom in 2022.

Scherzer would upgrade any MLB rotation. He's proved to be one of the most consistently dominant and durable pitchers in an era when starters are throwing fewer innings. 

He is a rare ace who can still throw 200 innings and make 30 starts. The Mets will be the beneficiary of his rare talent in their quest to compete for a championship. 

When Steve Cohen purchased the Mets last year, he said at his introductory press conference it would be "disappointing" if they didn't win a World Series within three to five years.

After New York went 77-85 in 2021, Cohen and the front office are taking steps to get the team to the playoffs.

The Mets have reportedly added Scherzer, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha. They previously locked up shortstop Francisco Lindor with a 10-year, $341 million contract in March.

The addition of Scherzer serves multiple purposes for New York. He will give the rotation some insurance if deGrom deals with injuries, as was the case in the second half of last season. 

A healthy deGrom and Scherzer will give the Mets arguably the best one-two pitching duo in Major League Baseball. The Mets have plenty of question marks behind them, especially if Marcus Stroman signs elsewhere, but two aces provide a great foundation to build a staff around.