Once upon a time baseball heads would laugh at the prospect of Max Scherzer moving to the Mets. It seemed like a fantasy. No way would one of the brightest stars on the Washington Nationals and one of the best pitchers in the game pay any attention to a team with no money, a train wreck of a front office, and a fan culture that shrugged at the notion of their team’s ineptitude.
But a new era has dawned for the Mets. Though they didn’t end last season with a hold on first place, they have new ownership, a boatload – nay, several boatloads – of money, and some better-than-negative media attention. Uncle Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler put $130 million in front of him and offered him three years with the team along with an opt-out option after two. And to the shock of most non-believers and the delight of all who prayed that his time in blue and orange would come, Max Scherzer looked at them with his two different-colored eyes and said: “Sure.”
Just to give you an idea: $130 million over three years comes to just over $43 million a year. The following breakdown from MLB on FOX might put things into better perspective.
Max Scherzer will be making over three times my annual salary every time he pitches an inning. I get that it’s hard to pitch and even harder to pitch well, but I spend a lot of time building training modules to teach folks how to build balloon arches. Sometimes I kick myself for not getting real into sports as a kid.
Anyway, I can’t believe that Scherzer’s a Met now. I won’t believe it until he puts on the uniform and throws his first pitch and makes his first $58,000 for his first at-bat. I can’t believe it. I’ve been burned before by the Mets. This is the team that hired Carlos Beltran as manager just before the whole trash can debacle happened. This is the team that dragged us on the Trevor Bauer ride last year, saying the deal was all but done before that abuser decided to turn tail and go to Los Angeles. (In the Mets’ defense, they dodged a bullet; on the other hand, it’s not like the Mets were any better on the sexual harassment front.) This is the team that had first place in the NL East in the palm of their hand last season, and they let it all crash and burn in August so that the Braves could swoop in and win the World Series.
You’re expecting me to let down my guard and whoop with joy that Max Scherzer, one of the pitchers of every team’s fanbase’s dreams, is going to be on the mound of my stadium in my city where my favorite team since childhood plays? Maybe in February when the pitchers and catchers report to spring training, folks. Until then, I have to withhold my excitement. It’s not that I’m unhappy that Max is joining the franchise; I’m ecstatic. But I have to keep it all pushed down until I am one-hundred and one percent certain that this guy is going to pitch a solid inning for us when the critical moment arrives. I know this team; I know my own luck. Any moment now I could wake up with a start and Max Scherzer will have decided that he’d rather go pitch for the Angels instead.