Max Scherzer
(Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Max Scherzer-New York Met

The New York Mets entered this year’s free agency with a bigger bang than anyone else. As MLB looms in a lockout, The Mets made as many moves possible before the lockout started at 12:01 a.m. on December 2nd. Their biggest move so far was signing Free-Agent Pitcher Max Scherzer, for a 3-year, $130 million contract.

Scherzer was certainly the most touted free agent on the market this offseason. While names such as Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander are also free agents, neither of them has left in the tank what Scherzer does.

At age 37, Scherzer was a Cy-Young finalist. He pitched to a 2.46 earned run average in 2021, along with 231 strikeouts in 179.1 innings. His numbers are showing no sign of slowing down in 2022, either.

Cohen Owning Up to Promise

In his introductory press conference during November 2020, Cohen said the following:

“If I don’t win the World Series in the next 3-5 years, I’d like to make it sooner, I would consider that slightly disappointing.”

After a quiet first year in regard to signing big-name free agents, Cohen came out swinging in this year’s free agency. After failing to land former Met Steven Matz, Cohen took to Twitter to discuss his frustrations, giving us a tweet to remember.

So naturally what did the richest owner in sports do? He laid it all on the table. He went and got Max Scherzer. With an AAV of $43.3 million in 2022, Scherzer is the highest among all free agents of the 2022 class so far. Corey Seager resides in second with an AAV of $32.5 million.

However, this signing is going to amount to much more than just records.

Mets Rotation Instantly Among the Best

The Mets always have had a competitive rotation. Their problem is injuries. They had potential last year as a rotation heading into 2021. Aside from the best pitcher in the MLB, deGrom, the Mets also will be bringing back Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco in 2022. Walker had a great first half last season. The key to him, like many power pitchers, is to limit home runs. In the first half, Walker surrendered only 6 home runs in 94.2 innings and pitched to an earned run average in his first 16 starts. The second half? 20 home runs in 64.1 innings. Not great. However, Walker threw the most innings since 2015: 159.0.

Now, they add Max Scherzer to the mix. Pairing him with the greatest pitcher in the game currently, and it’s obvious that rotation has the opportunity to just crush lineups day in and day out. I mean, I don’t want to sound egregious since it’s so early, but perhaps we’re looking at the new Pedro-Schilling combination or Maddux-Glavine. Overall, it will be the best 1-2 punch the Mets have featured since Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling.

Max Scherzer Getting Better with Age

Last season, Scherzer landed on the I.L. with back and shoulder issues. Nonetheless, he has aged like a fine wine in regard to his stats. He won more games with a lower e.r.a in his 30’s than 20’s. He is only behind Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, and Jon Lester for career innings among active pitchers.

Max is more than playoff-tested as well. Since 2019 Max has had a postseason e.r.a of 2.31. Since then, his teams have won eight of 10 games he’s pitched in. He also owned a 2.68 e.r.a against the Mets when he played for Washington. I’m sure they won’t miss facing him.

Max was the most touted pitcher among the free-agent class this year. Whoever signed him knew it was going to come with an unprecedentedly large price tag. But why does any of that matter? Max has the opportunity to make baseball more fun in Flushing. He, deGrom, Walker, and Carrasco all can dominate, and the Mets should see a lot of success this year, especially if they can get good production out of all four.

Oh, and they just hired a great manager too in Buck Showalter. The Mets are pressing all the right buttons in the offseason so far.

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