Regardless of how the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ season ends, you can bet the front office will be jumping at the opportunity to keep Max Scherzer on the roster come November.
The three-time Cy Young winner will be a free agent once his massive seven-year, $210 million contract expires in just over a month and he’ll be a hot commodity since he’s going to finish either first or second in the 2021 Cy Young race. He could have a fourth award when all is said and done.
Following the likely permanent loss of Trevor Bauer, Dustin May’s recovery from Tommy John surgery, and the fact Clayton Kershaw likely only has a few years left, the Dodgers will be doing everything in their power to keep Scherzer on board for 2022 and beyond.
He’s 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA and 0.71 WHIP since joining Los Angeles at the trade deadline and he’s fit in perfectly. Many feel this will be mutually beneficial since the Dodgers likely give Scherzer the best chance to capture another (or multiple) World Series rings with their premier window existing between now and 2023.
But could the best player in MLB across the freeway actually ruin those plans for the Dodgers?
Could Mike Trout recruiting Max Scherzer screw over the Dodgers?
The LA Angels? Really? Is that going to be the team that throws a wrench in the Dodgers’ plans? Well, it’s possible, especially if Mike Trout is leading the recruitment effort.
Had Trout (and Anthony Rendon) not missed a majority of this season with a calf injury, we really don’t know how the Angels’ campaign would’ve panned out. Justin Upton has also only played in 89 games, and their pitching, as usual has been atrocious.
Had some things bounced their way, they could’ve contended with the Houston Astros since Shohei Ohtani is likely going to win AL MVP. Adding some pitching around him this offseason and praying for the injury bug to shoo in 2022 could really propel the Angels, who have been a perennial disappointment, making the playoffs just once since 2010. Trout, who has finished top-two in the MVP voting and has won the AL MVP three times, has 12 postseason at-bats. Career.
He’s about to enter his age-30 season. The clock is ticking. The Angels really cannot afford much more ineptitude if they hope to maximize his remaining years. We can’t go the man’s entire baseball career without a World Series appearance, right?
It’ll more than likely come down to how Scherzer feels about the Angels’ chances in addition to how much they’re willing to offer. The Dodgers do have money coming off the books, but they still have to take care of guys like Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager and Chris Taylor, and then figure out what the future holds for Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger.
On the other hand, the Angels have nearly $45 million coming off the books with nobody to prioritize. They can spend freely and narrow their attention to Scherzer.
We’d like to think Mad Max would choose the right Los Angeles club, but the offseason is unpredictable, and what kind of message would the Dodgers be sending to their incumbent players who were integral to their 2020 World Series run if they prioritized a guy who’s going to make a total of 11 regular-season starts with them? It’s a tougher situation than you might think.