Soooo … let us get this straight. Last offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers were willing to give into Trevor Bauer’s nonsensical demands and pay him $40+ million per year for 2021 and 2022 despite the fact he owned a career 4.00 ERA, but they weren’t willing to do the same for a three-time Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer?
Even worse, the Dodgers were willing to do that for Bauer when, at the time, they already had a stacked rotation. This time around, they have a skeleton crew, and didn’t feel the need to come close to the competition.
According to previous reports, it was said the Angels were closer to landing the right-hander than the Dodgers were, and if Jon Heyman’s insight is anything to go by, we can understand why now.
Heyman, on his Big Time Baseball podcast, revealed that the Dodgers offered Scherzer a two-year contract in the $36 million per year range, which was more than $7 million short of the Mets’ deal, which pays him $43.33 million per season.
The Dodgers’ reported contract offer to Max Scherzer seems insulting.
Why even get involved in the bidding if this is going to be your offer? First of all, paying him the same amount as Gerrit Cole’s $36 million AAV isn’t appropriate based on both pitchers’ career track records. Scherzer, who put forth one of his best seasons in 2021, has had TWO campaigns with an ERA above 3.00 since 2013, and one of them was the shortened 2020, so we won’t even count that.
Cole, on the other hand, signed the richest pitcher contract in history with the New York Yankees back in 2019 and still doesn’t have a Cy Young award. He has only three full seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA compared to Scherzer’s seven. If he’s getting a short-term deal, the AAV amount simply had to be higher than Cole’s, no exception.
He’s not expected to play for the Dodgers (or in MLB) ever again based on what we’ve heard from industry insiders, and LA still didn’t go the extra mile (again, it was just money) to secure Scherzer for the top of the rotation since they’ll be down at least two pitchers in Bauer and Dustin May (who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery). Then there’s Clayton Kershaw, who may not return.
All things considered, Scherzer probably (and rightfully) laughed at that offer, if it’s what the Dodgers actually came up with. You can’t pay him the same amount or less than guys he’s clearly better than, especially if the deal isn’t going beyond three years.
We’d expect this from other franchises … but the Dodgers? Didn’t see that coming.