Max Scherzer regained his peak form in two-plus months with the Dodgers, and finished third in National League Cy Young Award voting. The future Hall of Famer cashed in with a reported record-breaking three-year deal with the New York Mets.
Andy Martino of SNY TV first reported the deal was done, at three years, $130 million. Jeff Passan at ESPN reported the same, with both reporting Scherzer has an opt-out after two seasons.
That’s a record average annual value for an MLB contract.
The Dodgers were one of “four of five” teams vying for Scherzer and as of Sunday evening weren’t considered the favorites, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.
Scherzer turned 37 in July, but was still at the top of his game. He led the league in WHIP (0.864) and batting average against (.185), finished second in ERA (2.46), strikeouts (236), and strikeout rate (34.1 percent), and ranked third in walk rate (5.2 percent). After getting acquired by the Dodgers on July 30, Scherzer was a supernova with a 1.98 ERA and 1.96 FIP down the stretch. Los Angeles won all 11 of his starts.
Finishing third behind Corbin Burnes and Zack Wheeler in NL Cy Young Award balloting, Scherzer achieved his eighth career top-five finish for the award.
Scherzer’s ERA (1.98) and ERA+ (208) are the lowest in Dodgers history with a minimum of 10 starts.
His 2021 salary was $35 million, the final season of a seven-year, $210 million contract signed with the Nationals, during which Scherzer won two of his three Cy Young Awards, finished in the top five four other times, reached the playoffs four times and won a World Series in 2019 with Washington.
Composite national free agent predictions had Scherzer ranked as the sixth-best free agent on average, and the top pitcher on the market, with most projecting a three-year deal at somewhere around $37 million per year. The vast majority of True Blue LA readers picked Southern California for Scherzer’s next team, with 18 (38.3 percent) picking the Angels and 17 (36.2 percent) guessing the Dodgers.
Only one reader out of 47 — StolenMonkey86 — guessed Scherzer would end up with the Mets.
Scherzer in 14 seasons with the Diamondbacks, Tigers, Nationals, and Dodgers is 190-97 with a 3.16 ERA, 134 ERA+, 3.13 FIP, and 3,020 strikeouts in 2,536⅔ innings.