Free agent starting pitcher Max Scherzer will command more money by Average Annual Value than any other player on the market this winter. Yes, he is 37 turning 38 in July of 2022, but he is one of this generation’s best pitchers and was lights out during his most recent stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Because of that, plenty of teams are expected to be interested, including the pitching-hungry L.A. Angels, who still need more in their arsenal after signing Noah Syndergaard. The Angels have been connected to virtually every starting pitcher on the market, but Scherzer has been viewed as the ultimate pipe dream.
It’s unclear what type of deal would be needed to lure Scherzer away from the Dodgers, but it may not be too long before we find out. Reportedly, Scherzer is hoping to make a decision before the current CBA expires and a lockout potentially begins on Dec. 1, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Top free agent starter Max Scherzer is expected to make his decision before the impending Dec. 1 lockout. Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Mets among teams in.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 28, 2021
The Dodgers and Angels make the most sense as destinations for Scherzer, as staying in Southern California has been a reported priority for him ever since his move to L.A. at the trade deadline in 2021.
However, the San Francisco Giants could certainly make some noise in this discussion if they’re willing to break the bank. They’ve re-signed most of their starters from last season and kept all those deals at a reasonable cost, perhaps because they were saving for Scherzer.
The Mets are the wild card of this group. Reports have stated that even they are aware that landing Scherzer is a long shot and believe he’ll ultimately stay in L.A., but new owner Steve Cohen is not afraid to throw money at a problem to solve it. Maybe there is a number high enough to get Scherzer to relocate.
The last three days before the possible lockout figure to be a frenzy. Even if very few signings actually happen, the mad dash of rumors will certainly keep things interesting. It remains to be seen if Scherzer can actually stake his claim somewhere by the end of November.
Angels have interest in Kevin Gausman
One potential backup plan for Scherzer could be Giants ace Kevin Gausman. Gausman is coming off of his best season as a pro, and figures to be very popular around the league. The cost to get him may be high, but the Angels appear wiling to do so to land one of the top players on the market.