Max Scherzer just watched his 2014 Major League Baseball season come to a screeching halt. The Detroit Tigers absolutely imploded in the playoffs and Scherzer was responsible for one game in which he gave up five earned runs to the Baltimore Orioles. Now he is set to hit the open market.
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The Detroit Tigers looked to sign Scherzer to a long term extension prior to the season, and Max turned them down. Coming off a season in which he won 21 games and sported a career low 2.90 ERA, Max Scherzer was betting on himself.
As 2014 came to a close, it looks like he was of the right mindset in doing so. At just 29 years old, Scherzer was 18-5 for the Tigers. This season he pitched to a 3.15 ERA while striking out 252 batters (12 more than last season) and carrying a WHIP of just 1.175.
In other words, Max Scherzer is going to get paid.
In 2014, he made $15.53 million, that number will likely go up this upcoming season. The question isn’t how much is he going to make, but rather, who is going to be writing the paychecks.
Clayton Kershaw currently makes just over $30 million for the Los Angeles Dodgers. While you can make the argument that Scherzer is not Kershaw, they may be the two pitchers with the most consistently filthy pitching abilities in baseball.
The Minnesota Twins have a glaring need, and a quality ace could be a better route than trying to add to a rotation with multiple lesser value guys. Max Scherzer comes from in the division, and would immediately give the Twins starting rotation a legitimate boost heading into the 2015 season.
With all that in mind, not only is it not going to happen, it shouldn’t happen.
Before Twins Territorians go grab their pitchforks and torches, let’s consider the amount of animosity that already surrounds one of the Twins bigger contracts. Joe Mauer no longer earns the money he is paid, but the argument can be made that he deserved the money he was paid at the time of the extension. What happens when Scherzer is 32 and no longer deserves $20+ million a season?
Also, a team like the Twins that is notoriously cheap, does have the opportunity to spend, but it must be done wisely.
Going into this offseason, the Twins need to focus on bringing in a strong starting option as well as a left fielder. The left fielder could be Yasmany Thomas or a myriad of other names, but the starting pitcher should be another name.
Whether you want James Shields to head to Target Field or not, he is a much more realistic option than Max Scherzer. The Twins would find themselves in a situation where they have significantly too much money tied up in one player. As their young talent surfaces, adding free agents to bolster the roster is key.
Max Scherzer would no doubt be an ace for the Minnesota Twins, but he would also likely limit them going forward as well. A name like James Shields significantly helps the roster, while also leaving flexibility to continue to get better. Of course this is all assuming that Scherzer would even let the Twins into the conversation.
As it stands, Scherzer would be a great fit for the Twins based upon need, but realistically, he just doesn’t make sense.
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