Cincinnati — A 37-year-old pitcher is usually not a wise investment. They are also rarely ranked as one of the most attractive free agents available on the market.
However, Max Scherzer’s performance this season, while very likely to win four (or more) Cy Young Awards for the fifth pitcher in baseball history, is not normal. In an era where every acquisition, whether free agent or not, is analytically micro-measured for the subtle benefits and potential handicaps it can bring, Scherzer models in the front office during baseball. It must be broken.
“Like,” Scherzer said. The day after dropping Major League Baseball ERA to 2.08, he sat down at the Great American Ball Park visitor’s dugout. A ridiculous 0.78 with nine starts as the Dodgers.
“It’s best to come to the park and win. That’s always my motivation. I’ve never proved that someone is wrong. But yeah, I’m a human. You’re yours. I want to beat the predictions every year.
“I think I’ve done a pretty good job in a year since I showed that some computers could be better than I think. I see why we have computers. They are very good. Over the long term, they make sound decisions from a macro perspective. But when you actually try to explain the player? I hope it’s better than I expected. I hope there are many more things that can’t be quantified, so I can get out there and succeed. ”
If there was Scherzer’s comp at this point in his career, it could be his former Detroit teammate Justin Verlander. Shortly after his 36th birthday in the spring of 2019, Verlander signed a $ 66 million contract extension with the Houston Astros for two years and led a free agent.
He was well worth the investment for the season and joined Scherzer as one of the seven Cy Young Award-winning pitchers in both leagues. However, Verlander threw only six innings last season before undergoing Tommy John’s surgery and set him aside until 2022 (he turns 39).
“Free agents, it all takes care of them,” Scherzer said. “As long as you get out there and play to win, everything else takes care of itself. It guides you in the right direction and to the right team. So for me, I want to come to the park and win. That’s it. ”
The idea that his three months with the Dodgers could serve as a “test drive” for a potentially longer commitment is less important to one Scherzer. However, from the Dodgers side, baseball president Andrew Friedman called it “added value” by acquiring players heading for free agents.
“We made big deals for those whose contracts expire, and part of the added value of making those deals is that you get to know the players better and they are us If they want to stay positive, they really want to enjoy their time and be part of it, “Friedman said.
The most obvious example of the Dodgers’ mid-season free agent acquisition was Manny Machado’s 2018 deal. The Dodgers were reluctant to re-sign Machado as shortstop Corey Seager recovered from his 2019 season injury. Machado went to San Diego Padres instead and signed a 10-year $ 300 million contract.
Scherzer (represented by Scott Boras) has only made himself an even more desirable product since joining the Dodgers. However, there are many factors that complicate Scherzer and the Dodgers this winter. One is a collective bargaining agreement that expires.
Shelzer, who participates in the MLB Players Union as a member of Player Leadership, said: “You can run so many scenarios. It shakes your brain trying to figure out which one will happen.”
Friedman reflects that feeling.
“There are a lot of unknowns,” he said. “All I know is that things are different. I don’t know at this point.”
It’s also unclear how much the Dodgers will pay Trevor Bauer next season. In allegations of sexual assault, Bauer was on leave for the last three months of the 2021 season, taking all of the $ 38 million he had borrowed from the Dodgers in the first year of his three-year $ 102 million contract. I have received it. If he is suspended in all or part of the 2022 season, the Dodgers’ commitment to him (he plans to make $ 32 million next season) could be diminished. Alternatively, you can release him and swallow all the $ 64 million remaining in his contract.
“We’re in the same place waiting for MLB,” Friedman would say about Bauer’s situation. “Once something is decided, we will be in a position to discuss it more.”
Scherzer is not the only Cy Young Award winner to head for a free agent this winter. Clayton Kershaw hasn’t been signed since this season, and recently said, “I can honestly say I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“We talked a lot about Kirsh and how much he meant for this organization,” Friedman said. “I think all of our focus right now is to do whatever we can to win the championship in 2021. We will shift our gear to the off-season after the last game is played. Kirsh has great implications for this organization and I hope it will continue to do so. ”
What does it look like in a spreadsheet? How wise is it to detain millions of dollars to two pitchers aged 38 and 34 during the 2021 season?
“I’m looking forward to getting over it in the off-season,” Friedman said.
Dodgers (LHP Julio Urias, 18-3, 2.99 ERA), Rockies (RHP Antonio Senzatela, 4-9, 4.06 ERA), Tuesday, 5:40 pm, SportsNet LA, 570 AM
Max Scherzer’s time with Dodgers breaking models, driving up price – Press Telegram Source link Max Scherzer’s time with Dodgers breaking models, driving up price – Press Telegram