Max to Mets on record-setting deal (source)

November 29th, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest trade and free-agent rumors involving the Mets right here.

**Nov. 28: Mets reach record-breaking deal with Scherzer (source)
**The Mets reached a three-year, $130 million deal with Max Scherzer on Monday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The deal includes an opt-out after 2023 and has the highest average annual value in MLB history at $43.3 million. More >

Nov. 28: Mets making final push for Scherzer
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Sunday morning that the Mets have joined a trio of west coast clubs -- the Dodgers, Giants and Angels -- in making a push for All-Star ace Max Scherzer. On Sunday evening, Heyman tweeted that the Mets' "full attention" is on landing Scherzer, and that Scherzer might reach a deal with a team as early as Sunday night.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets have made an offer to Scherzer with an average annual value of more than $40 million per year, though the length of the offer is uncertain. An AAV of more than $40 million would easily be a record for any contract in MLB history, surpassing Mike Trout's $36 million AAV in the 12-year extension he signed with the Angels prior to the 2019 season.

The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga reports that some MLB executives see the Mets as the favorites to ink Scherzer, and that the contract would "definitely" be at least three years, and maybe four.

Heyman notes that while the Mets are "aggressively pursuing" Scherzer, they may need to pivot to another arm due to Scherzer's preference to remain with a west coast club at this stage in his career, and that the free-agent starter they'd likely pivot to would be right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Gausman appears to be another veteran looking to lock in a deal within days, although other teams, including the Blue Jays, have joined the Mets and Giants in the hunt for his services. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Sunday that the Giants may be the frontrunners as they try to re-sign Gausman.

Nov. 27: Mets turn focus to pitching
After addressing their offense Friday, when they reached deals with Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar, according to sources, the Mets are now focused on the starting-pitching market, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman reports.

Kevin Gausman is a "major focus" for New York, according to SNY's Andy Martino, and a rival executive told Sherman they would be "shocked" if the Mets don't land Gausman within the next 48 hours.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Friday that the Mets had Max Scherzer, Gausman and Robbie Ray as their top three rotation targets, in that order, with Marcus Stroman a possibility as well. Per Sherman, Jon Gray is another option.

As Heyman notes, Scherzer preferred the West Coast when he was involved in trade talks over the summer, and his level of interest in New York is uncertain, which might explain why the Mets are going hard after Gausman.

Stroman seems convinced the Mets aren't seriously looking in his direction, tweeting Friday that the team, which has a new general manager in Billy Eppler, prefers some of the other pitchers on the market. The right-hander posted a 3.02 ERA over 33 starts for New York in 2021.

Nov. 19: Cohen ready to spend on top free agents
Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to put a winning product on the field, and he’s willing to spend to make it happen. He made that clear as New York introduced new general manager Billy Eppler on Friday.

Granted, it's not like Cohen has shown any aversion to opening up the checkbook since he bought the team. He finalized his purchase of the Mets last November, and the team went on to sign free agents Marcus Stroman (one year, $18.9 million), James McCann (four years, $40.6 million) Trevor May (two years, $15.5 million) and Taijuan Walker (two years, $20 million). New York also traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, then signed Lindor to a 10-year, $341 million extension through 2031.

But after the Mets finished last season 11 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East, a division they led by five games as late as July 31, Cohen seems prepared to spend even more aggressively.

The Mets will likely explore re-signing some of their own free agents, including Stroman, Michael Conforto and Javier Báez. Eppler said in appearance on SNY that he wants to "engage with their agents and get a sense of where they're at and make that call [whether to pursue them] appropriately based on the information that I get back."

Nov. 12: Mets, Phillies, Marlins reportedly interested in Marte
The Mets, Phillies and Marlins are all showing interest in Marte, according to multiple tweets from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman over the past two days.

The Mets have actively looked for a new center fielder in each of the past two offseasons. The club discussed a trade for Marte after the 2019 season, back when the outfielder was a member of the Pirates, but Pittsburgh ended up trading him to the D-backs, who then traded him to the Marlins at the 2020 Deadline. After 2020, New York was in the mix for free-agent center fielder George Springer but ultimately signed Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora Jr. to back up Brandon Nimmo in center. If the Mets sign Marte, they could shift Nimmo to right field to fill the vacancy left by free agent Michael Conforto.

New York is still in the midst of a search for a new general manager, but with president Sandy Alderson still working in the front office, the Mets can take part in player pursuits as they normally would. More >