With the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) set to expire on December 1, many players are poised to sign before that deadline including a future Hall of Fame pitcher. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network is reporting that the SF Giants are one of the teams interested in free-agent righty Max Scherzer.
SF Giants reportedly interested in future Hall of Fame pitcher
The New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels were listed as other potential suitors for Scherzer as well. It does seem like geography is a factor given that three of the four teams identified are located in California.
The Giants still have a lot of work to get done as Logan Webb and Anthony DeSclafani are penciled in as the only pitchers in the starting rotation for 2022. They had been making a strong push for Alex Cobb and nearly agreed to a deal with Alex Wood as well. Given how active they have been, the general sense is that they will sign one more player in the next couple of days.
MLB Trade Rumors is predicting that Scherzer will net a three-year, $120 million deal this winter. That is a sizable investment for a pitcher with over 2,500 innings logged and who will be entering his age-37 season in 2022.
With that being said, teams appear more willing to go with a short-term deal and a high annual value considering that Scherzer will likely continue to be effective for the duration of that contract. So, there is a fair amount of risk but that risk is reduced given that the hypothetical contract will be off of the books by the end of the 2024 season.
Despite his age and mileage, Scherzer continues to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. He just completed a seven-year, $210 million pact that he signed before the 2015 season and he proved to live up to the expectations of that contract as he earned two Cy Young awards (2016 and 2017) and he finished in the top five in four other seasons (2015, 2018, 2019, and 2021).
The veteran starter began the 2021 season with the Washington Nationals but he was shipped to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade that also brought Trea Turner to Los Angeles. The Dodgers paid a substantial cost in that trade as they sent two of the better prospects in baseball in Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz to Washington.
In total, Scherzer registered a 2.46 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 0.86 WHIP, 11.8 K/9, and a 6.56 SO/W ratio across 179.1 innings with the Nationals and Dodgers in 2021. He continues to add to an impressive résumé as arguably the best pitcher of his generation.
If the Giants were to strike a deal with Scherzer, they would have a formidable duo atop the rotation along with Webb that could compete with every team in baseball. However, they will have to bid with the Dodgers, Angels, and Mets for his services. All four teams have substantial spending power, so it is going to take a significant contract to reel him in.