The Los Angeles Dodgers have the ability to sign any player on the market, and it’s bad faith to argue otherwise.
That being said … are they really going to lock in Max Scherzer to the type of contract ex-GM Jim Bowden is projecting he’ll receive on the open market?
Scherzer seems objectively essential to the 2022 Dodgers, especially considering the team declined to even entertain the idea of paying Clayton Kershaw $18.4 million for the one-year qualifying offer. Either Kershaw’s elbow is even worse than we thought (which would mean the Dodgers need pitching) or they’re prepared to let him walk and finish his career elsewhere (which would mean the Dodgers need pitching …).
To take pressure off Julio Urías and Walker Buehler and their career-high innings marks, the Dodgers either need Scherzer taking the bump every fifth day as a certified ace, or they need to sign someone roughly equivalent.
When the offseason began a few weeks too early, we sort of thought that, despite a season-ending dead arm, Scherzer would still return to LA on a hefty one year deal as the team mulled over a Trea Turner extension, too.
But … this? We’re looking at three years and the most AAV you can fathom for a 37-year-old? Woof.
Would the Dodgers really sign Max Scherzer to a three-year, $150 million contract?
If Scherzer had finished the season breathing fire like he was in August and early September, that’d be one thing. But he didn’t even wrap the campaign in a way that’d give you utmost confidence moving forward, let alone would make you want to pay someone $50 million a year.
The Dodgers are between a rock and a hard place right now, and absolutely need a starter to cap their rotation before they move onto depth signings. History dictates they’ll go get one and then some.
But $50 million? And with three years of security? Who else is even bidding in the vicinity of that number? Scherzer seems destined to never cross paths with the Yankees, and likely won’t again this offseason. That’s basically the sum total of what the Astros offered Carlos Correa, so that feels unlikely. The Nats and Cardinals wouldn’t play in that end of the pool. Is this just a statement contract for the Dodgers? It feels wholly unnecessary.
If you’re not hearing specific Scherzer rumors about any other team, you probably don’t need to climb into the $150 million range — especially for a guy you couldn’t technically count on as the NLCS closed, through no fault of his own.
Of course — if this possibility is even in range — yeah, we might have to pony up.
Yup. The only thing scarier than a $50 million annual commitment.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.