Will anyone sign Max Scherzer?

Now that Jon Lester has signed with the Chicago Cubs, it’s time for clubs to start vying for Max Scherzer‘s attention, or so we thought.

The funny thing is that no one is really biting right now. In fact, teams are opting out of the Scherzer sweepstakes.

Clayton Kershaw. Getty Images.
Clayton Kershaw. Getty Images.

There is the small issue of the amount of money Scherzer wants, which makes one wonder if he’s asking for too much? Perhaps that is scaring teams off? He IS asking for “Clayton Kershaw” money afterall. Yet, is he really worth $200 million?

It was expected that as soon as Lester signed the dominoes would begin to fall, starting with Scherzer, but that has yet to happen.

Teams that were expected to make a play for Scherzer have pretty much said that he’s too expensive for their taste. The Detroit Tigers have definitively pulled out of the running and it appears the New York Yankees have too.

Scherzer would be a great fit for New York.  Their top three starters C.C. Sabbathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda all have injury issues. Beyond that they have Ivan Nova who won’t be ready for Opening Day having undergone Tommy John surgery during the 2014 season.

The Yankees need an ace, someone they can depend on for quality starts like Scherzer but general manager Brian Cashman said,

“Scherzer is on a higher level than we’d like to play in right now.”

Cashman was referring to Scherzer’s cost. If the Yankees are not interested than who is left?

James Shields. Getty Images.
James Shields. Getty Images.

The San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are all looking for a starter, however, the three teams seem more interested in another very qualified free agent James Shields, who will still command quite a bit but will come much cheaper than Scherzer.

Those teams as well as others like the Houston Astros may even be more willing to trade prospects for Philadelphia Phillies’ premier lefty Cole Hamels than spend the money on Scherzer.

The Los Angeles Dodgers can afford Scherzer but they have all but officially set their starting rotation for 2015 already having the trio of  reigning Cy Young Award winner and N.L. MVP Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu.

They’ve now added Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to round out the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation and it doesn’t appear that they are even remotely interested in Scherzer.

One of the teams that misses out on Shields may just sign Scherzer but will still probably fight to trade for Cole Hamels before spending $200 million on one guy who’s name is not Clayton Kershaw.

Cole Hamels.  Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.
Cole Hamels. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.

Going into the offseason Scherzer was ranked the number one free agent and now it appears there really isn’t anyone interested in signing him.

It may just come down to Scherzer having to lower his price.

He may be a Cy Young Award winner who even had a good follow up season. Scherzer went 18-5 for the Tigers in 2014 with a 3.15 ERA.

However, some might argue that Scherzer hasn’t signed because of his agent Scott Boras, who is notroious for having his players wait until the new year to choose a team to sign with. He may have convinced the 2013 Cy Young Award winner to wait it out.

Still it doesn’t explain what appears to be a lack of interest.

Even if Boras has convinced Scherzer to wait until January to sign, it just really appears that no one is really interested in signing him, at least not for $200 million.

  • He is too old to be looking for a 200+ million contract – teams will spend – but they do not want to be put in a position of having to trade and aging expensive non-performer and or eating a huge chunk of cash.

    Kershaw may be the first huge contract given to a pitcher which has full value over the whole term – but that is still yet to be seen; even as awesome as he is. I am speaking of all the 100+ million contract so far going back to Mike Hampton, Keven Brown etc. So far to a man they do not give good value.

    Go jays!

    • Jen Rainwater

      I completely agree with you! 200+ for Scherzer?! And to think that someone will probably cave and give it to him is kind of annoying, for lack of a better word. I don’t think he is worth more than Lester who got $155million but I think he’ll still get more than Lester did. Anyway, best of luck to your Jays! They’ve made some good moves and I will be pulling for them on the West Coast!

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