Mets: Scherzer remains hopeful about CBA negotiations

Andres Chavez
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May 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Before the MLB lockout, the New York Mets broke the market and signed multiple Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer to a three-year, $130 million deal with an opt-out clause after the second season.

As it turns out, Scherzer is also one of the most prominent advocate for the players in the labor dispute with MLB owners. The Mets’ pitcher referred to the lockout that the league imposed on December 1 in an interview with Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.

The future Hall of Famer talked about the potential timing of an agreement, and some of the things the players are fighting for, like the need to pay minor leaguers and young big leaguers more, the luxury tax, and more.

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The Mets’ star acknowledged there could be lost games in 2022. “You’re just in limbo right now,” Scherzer said. “You’re training ready to be good to go for when spring training starts. If that doesn’t happen, then you make different decisions based on that. But until that happens, you have to have the mentality that we’re going to be playing on time. Any other kind of speculation is just hearsay.”

What the Mets’ co-ace (along with Jacob deGrom) is saying is that both sides ideally want to reach a deal before February, which is when Spring Training starts. If that hasn’t materialized by then, both owners and players would be reaching dangerous territory.

Scherzer also criticized the tanking strategy that some teams have adopted recently. “Even though that can be a strategy to win in future years, we’ve seen both small-market and large-market clubs embrace tanking, and that cannot be the optimal strategy for the owners,” he said.

The sides didn’t make much progress in December and stopped negotiations late in the month because of the holidays, but are expected to resume talking in January. Fans are hoping for a relatively quick resolution.