The lowdown on Max Scherzer

November 29th, 2021

is joining the Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal, a source told The ace hurler was a free agent after completing a seven-year, $210 million contract. Scherzer, 37, has been a Major Leaguer for 14 seasons and is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, pitching for the D-backs, Tigers, Nationals and Dodgers.

Here’s what you need to know about the Mets' newest ace:

Birthdate: July 27, 1984 (Age 37 in 2022)
Primary position: RHP
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 208 lbs.
Bats/throws: Right/right
Place of birth: St. Louis, Mo.
School(s): Parkway Central (Mo.) HS, University of Missouri
Drafted: 1st round (11th), 2006, by D-backs
MLB debut: April 29, 2008

2021: 15-4, 2.46 ERA (166 ERA+), 236 K, 5.3 WAR* in 179 1/3 IP
Career: 190-97, 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), 3,020 K, 67.2 WAR in 2,536 2/3 IP
*Per Baseball-Reference

Scherzer’s 2.46 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 2021 were the lowest of his 14-year career, and his 28.9 K-BB% (strikeout rate minus walk rate) was his second highest after 2019 (30.3%).

Scherzer’s age hasn’t proved to be a detriment yet, but he's heading into his age-37 season.

A record for average annual value
Scherzer's three-year deal with the Mets has an average annual value of $43.3 million, shattering the previous MLB record for highest AAV in a free-agent contract. These are the five highest AAV figures we've seen in the history of MLB free agency:

  1. Max Scherzer, Mets: $43,333,333 (2022-24) (source)
  2. Gerrit Cole, Yankees: $36 million (2020-28)
  3. (Tied) Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: $35 million (2020-26)
  4. (Tied) Anthony Rendon, Angels: $35 million (2020-26)
  5. Trevor Bauer, Dodgers: $34 million (2021-23)

He’s in rare company with 3 Cys
Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award with the Tigers in 2013, then earned National League Cy Young honors in back-to-back years (‘16, ‘17) with the Nats. The list of pitchers with at least three Cy Young Awards isn’t long. It includes Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton, Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver, plus Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw in addition to Scherzer.

Scherzer is also one of six pitchers to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues, joining Clemens, Johnson, Martinez, Gaylord Perry and Roy Halladay.

The ace right-hander came close to earning his fourth Cy Young in 2021, finishing third behind Corbin Burnes and Zack Wheeler. It was the eighth time Scherzer placed fifth or better in his league's voting.

Rotations with multiple multi-time Cy Young winners
With Scherzer joining two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom in the Mets' rotation, the two aces will become the seventh pair of multi-time Cy Young winners (having already won two or more at the time) to pitch for a team in the same season. These are the other duos to do it:

2021 Dodgers: Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw
2008 Mets: Pedro Martínez and Johan Santana
2005-07 Mets: Pedro Martínez and Tom Glavine
1999-2002 Braves: Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux
2001 Red Sox: Pedro Martínez and Bret Saberhagen
1986 White Sox: Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver

He joined the 3,000-strikeout club in 2021
One of the top strikeout artists of his generation, Scherzer tallied the 3,000th K of his career when he fanned Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 12. With that, he became the 19th pitcher to join the 3,000-strikeout club.

Scherzer made additional history in the same game, striking out the side on nine pitches in the top of the second to become the third pitcher on record after Koufax and Chris Sale to toss as many as three immaculate innings.

His first 9 starts with the Dodgers were historic
Traded to the Dodgers with shortstop Trea Turner on July 30, Scherzer made an immediate impact for Los Angeles. The Dodgers didn’t lose a single regular-season game he started, and he allowed just five earned runs over 58 innings in his first nine starts with the club. Scherzer’s 0.78 ERA in that span was the lowest for any pitcher in his first nine starts with a team (since 1913, when earned runs became official), topping the 0.79 ERA posted by Dana Fillingim over his first nine starts with the Boston Braves in 1918.

Best free-agent signing ever?
He’s certainly up there.’s Mike Petriello attempted to quantify the best free-agent deals ever by creating a points system based on individual and team performance during the contract, and Scherzer landed third on the list after Johnson and Maddux.