It goes down like a strange.
The first historical comparison that comes to mind, when one wraps the brain around the reality that Max Scherzer, 37, joined the New York Mets, is Roger Clemens, 36, who strives to be traded from the Blue Jays to the Blue Jays. the Yankees in 1999. Yet The Rocket did this not so much for immediate financial gain (he was halfway through contract) as to secure a World Series ring, a motivation widely criticized at the time for whatever reason.
So no, I don’t remember an apple-to-apple example of such an accomplished player, someone who would be a Hall of Fame member in the first round if he retired now, joining a team. that he surely wasn’t high on his list – a team without a manager, let’s not forget – because the money just turned out to be too important to be turned down.
Risks abound with Steve Cohen’s three-year, $ 130 million bet against a guy who last made headlines by getting wiped out of a playoff debut due to fatigue. Yet for these Mets, with this owner, Scherzer represents a risk worth it.
The advantage is huge, not only because of who Scherzer may still be on the mound, a co-ace with Jacob deGrom, but also because of who he stays in the clubhouse. For an organization in desperate need of a cultural cleanse, its arrival is potentially transformative.
Dusty Baker, during his two years (2016-17) managing the Nationals, urged Washington’s young pitchers to follow Scherzer and watch his preparation. Scherzer took the initiative to sit alongside his juniors when they analyzed videos of past performances, serving de facto as a coach of additional pitchers.
As for his transition to New York, you now know that you should never assume that a player will go through the scrutiny and responsibility that our beautiful region offers and demands. Although Scherzer, as a nationally recognized player who can be very outspoken about “state of the game” issues like labor turmoil, has historically attracted attention and engages with journalists at level where it sometimes takes more time to think about a question and comes back later with an answer. His Nationals were the main rival for Terry Collins’ 2015-16 Mets, and his Tigers knocked out the Yankees in the 2011 and 2012 playoffs. He brings considerable credibility to the toughest street he’s worked in.
The harshness of the streets is linked to Scherzer’s performance. Can he replicate the excellence that earned him a third place in the 2021 National League’s Cy Young Award ballot, the sixth time he has placed this high (including three Cy Young trophies)? Can he limit his physical breakdowns to the relatively minor issues he resolved to start 30 games last season and stay up until October, teaming up with deGrom (who must prove his good health following his nightmare of 21) to give the Rencontre the best high-level duo in the game? Speaking of which, who will start the season opener on April 2 (assuming a new collective agreement is in place) against the Nationals, of all clubs, at Citi Field?
It will also be intriguing how deGrom, who will earn $ 20.5 million this season as another $ 15 million rolls over, thinks he pocketed less than half of Scherzer’s $ 43.33 million. Remember he can retire after this season.
Listen, if Scherzer ends in disaster, his deal would be a good test for Cohen, by far the richest owner in the game, to see how willing he is to put sunk costs aside and not leave them. hamper future spending. That test will come at some point, whether it’s via Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, or a Met that will be named later.
If Scherzer wins this race which he prefers to lose, it will always be worth it. While this is one of the weirdest big deals in recent memory, that doesn’t diminish how celebrated it could be down the road.