This past offseason, new Mets Owner Steve Cohen promised to spend big to help push his new team towards a World Series. Things seemed to be trending up for the Mets with the announcement of a Max Scherzer contract. Despite a very successful regular season, the Mets injury woes suddenly have the team fighting for their Postseason life. Sadly for the Mets, these same injury woes could quickly turn the Max Scherzer contract into a serious problem.
The Max Scherzer Contract
Throughout his career, the man known as Mad Max has established himself as one of the very best pitchers in the game of baseball. His powerful repertoire and his ability to mentally crush his opponents with simply a stare struck fear into all of baseball. As a result, he became one of the most sought after free agents in baseball.
Meanwhile, under the new ownership of Steve Cohen, the Mets were ready to show they were no longer afraid to spend, resulting in the Max Scherzer contract. Despite his age, the two sides agreed to a 3-year deal worth a total of $130 million, resulting in an MLB record contract of Scherzer, paying him over $43 million a season, with the ability for Scherzer to opt out after the second season.
Despite the big money, the team finally felt they had the big piece needed to help set the stage for another Mets World Series. Scherzer and the Mets weren’t the only ones looking for a big payday. After signing, the Mets saw a noticeable jump in their World Series odds at casinos where real money wins at the best online casinos in the US and Canada.
The First Season in Queens
With their newly signed ace, the Mets raced out to one of the fastest starts in baseball. Doing his part, Scherzer finished the regular season with a record of 11 wins and 5 loses over 23 starts while striking out 173 batters in 145 innings with an ERA of 2.29. However, the Mets injury curse made introduced itself to Scherzer sidelining him at times due to an oblique injury.
With his intense style and his impressive results, Scherzer quickly became a fan favorite. With the team seemingly dominating the competition, the Mets appeared to be headed to their first NL East division title since 2015.
However, despite playing terrific baseball, the Mets suddenly found themselves in a tough divisional battle with the red-hot Atlanta Braves. A late season swoon suddenly had the two teams neck and neck headed into the final series.
Disappointing Starts at the Worst Possible Moment
On October 1st, the Mets and Braves entered their matchup tied for first place in the NL East. The Mets had seen their 10.5 game division lead evaporate over the Fall months and watched their other Ace Jacob deGrom falter the night before; they needed Scherzer to stop the bleeding.
Instead, Scherzer had one of his worst starts of the season, surrendering 4 runs and failing to get out of the 6th inning. During the game, Scherzer was punished by a couple of home runs and blew two 1-run leads. The Braves took control of the division that night and Atlanta clinched the NL East title a couple of nights later sending the Mets to a National League Wild Card round.
The NL Wild Card
Despite finishing tied for the third best record in baseball, the Mets would have a more difficult journey to the World Series than the other 100+ win teams. Hosting the Padres in a best of three series, Buck Showalter and the Mets once again turned to Scherzer to put a statement on the debut game.
Instead, it was the Padres who showed the world that they were ready to seize the momentum of the short series. In the first inning, slugging first baseman Josh Bell crushed a two-run home run and San Diego never looked back. The Padres knocked Scherzer out in the fifth with Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado all hitting home runs.
Scherzer’s final line for the night was 4.2 innings pitched, 7 hits, 7 earned runs and only 4 strikeouts.
The Mets Injury Woes
What seems to sadly be a reoccurring theme, the Mets injury woes have once again reared its ugly head. Perhaps the face on the Mets injury woes are fellow star pitcher Jacob deGrom. When healthy, deGrom has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the history of the game; however, he has yet to complete more than 15 starts since 2019.
Meanwhile, another Steve Cohen signee, All-Star outfielder Starling Marte joined the Mets injury report after being hit by a pitch late in the season. The once-dominant Mets roster was suddenly left with some big questions as the playoffs approached.
Scherzer’s Own Injuries
Meanwhile, Scherzer’s own injuries appear ready to write a new chapter for the overall Mets injury problems. Last year, as a member of the Dodgers, Scherzer was ineffective against the Braves due to arm fatigue. At the time, he stated that he had “overcooked” his arm as LA bowed out to the eventual World Series champs.
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Now a member of the Mets, Scherzer missed time during the regular season due to an oblique injury. It was reported that Scherzer was still dealing with the injury and he would have to wait until the offseason for it to properly heal. It is quite possible that limitations from his oblique negatively impacted him during his final two starts.
For the Mets, the main concern around Scherzer is twofold. First, players rarely get healthier as they age. When this season ends for the Mets, it will mark back to back seasons ending with Scherzer battling through some sort of injury. With him turning 39 next July, it is fair for fans to wonder how many more seasons are left in his arm.
The other potential issue with the Max Scherzer contract and the frequent Mets injury woes is what to do with deGrom. Earlier this year, it was reported that deGrom would opt out of his contract and test the free agent market. With the massive Scherzer contract, deGrom will likely want to match the contract of his fellow pitcher.
Which closer would use to win you the World Series?
While Cohen has promised to spend, and certainly has the money to do it, will the Mets reset the market once again for deGrom or will the Scherzer contract take the Mets out of deGrom’s price range? With their season having ended early, the Mets will have to answer these questions very soon.
Let us know your thoughts on the Mets injury woes and the Scherzer contract in the comments below.
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