The Mets get their star and pair Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation

Could the New York Yankees pursue Max Scherzer in a trade?
Jun 14, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets secured one of their top targets in the 2021-22 offseason. Max Scherzer, the star pitcher who snubbed everybody in the East coast at the deadline, saying he preferred to go to the West coast, is now in agreement with the Mets on a three-year, $130 million contract that breaks all kinds of records.

It represents the largest average annual value for any player in MLB history, at $43.3 million. The Mets are also giving Scherzer the opportunity to opt out after 2023, the second season, and a full no-trade clause as part of the deal.

The Mets had taken the market by storm on Friday, signing three players to bolster their lineup: Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar. However, their pitching remained a clear weakness, not so much in quality but in depth.

They had only five viable starters under contract and healthy enough to pitch, presumably, in 2022 spring training: Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson, and Tylor Megill. They lost Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman to free agency.

The Mets are banking on Scherzer

Having Scherzer paired with deGrom at the top of the lineup will be huge for the Mets, especially if they get to the postseason. That one-two punch us unparalleled in today’s game.

Scherzer, even at 37, is coming off an excellent season for the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched 179.1 innings of a 2.46 ERA, a 2.97 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and 11.84 strikeouts per nine frames.

He finished 2021 with 5.4 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, according to FanGraphs, a really solid number. The Mets are taking a chance on his health and his ability to maintain elite performance for three years, but it was a gamble they needed to make considering the circumstances.

It is believed that New York will keep monitoring the market, as they still need to add a pitcher or two. The trade market is also a possibility, with Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas as potential targets.