Why it’s easier to appreciate the Max Scherzer signing from afar

The saying “money won’t buy you happiness” is dumb. Money definitely buys you happiness. Just ask the new owner of “fuck you” money, Max Scherzer.

Chesterfield, Missouri’s most famous athlete will sign a three-year deal worth $130 million with the New York Mets this week. He is 37 years old and that number isn’t a typo. Scherzer will sign a contract with the largest annual average value in Major League Baseball history. Kudos to you, Mad Max.

Yeah, I could sit here and bitch about it. It’s wild money for one individual playing a kid’s game to have, but bitch and moan towards the game and not the players. Owners and agents did this, not Scherzer. Time and unique advertising did this to the sport; not one guy. He may have different colored eye balls, but Scherzer just got paid $43 million per season due to the fact that New York sports teams are flat out nuts.

Complaining about this is like wanting to hear Woody Allen talk for more than 15 minutes: no thanks, will read later. Scott Boras got his client a rocket man saddle of cash, and the pitcher will most likely deliver. While he showed signs of wear and tear during the playoffs last month with the Dodgers, he didn’t exactly stink either. He dominated the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS and gave up two runs in 4.1 innings during the NLCS. His Wildcard game performance against St. Louis wasn’t exactly sublime, but it wasn’t awful either.

So, let’s not all act like Scherzer is just going to fall apart like a stack of Jinga pieces next year. The Mets overpaid like crazy, but only in a certain frame of mind. Per sabermetrics, a player is worth $8 million per 1.0 fWAR (wins above replacement via Fangraphs). Love or hate it, but this is how general managers are drawing up the receipts right now: based on WAR and other trustworthy metrics. It’s a different world, and New York decided to sign the biggest (and oldest) fish on the market before December could even breathe.

Call them crazy, but don’t try to act like it doesn’t quietly turn you on a little. It’s like saying you don’t need French fries; you may not need them, but you sure do want them!

However, the Cardinals can’t spend like New York, or else they’d be bankrupt. Knowing this team’s penchant for spring training pops of the ugly variety, handing over $130 million to Scherzer would be like playing catch with a hand grenade with the pin nearly pulled out. It would immediately prevent them from extending Jack Flaherty, who surely would go on to win six Cy Young awards with the Dodgers. It would prevent them from adding any sort of bat that came with more than mere lumber. Forget any kind of big spend until another big contract fell. That’s the reality of this signing. Finding a perspective is vital to not pulling the hair from your head (or face).

St. Louis can’t afford to not glance at the usage issues in this year’s postseason. The Dodgers competed in six NLCS games yet Scherzer only started one game. The juice in acquiring him would be his ability to dominate in October. If that wasn’t a possibility in 2023, giving him $130 guaranteed dollars would carry a gigantic beware tag. It’s like watching a rocket blast off into the sky… the only bad thing would be if it lands on you or your home.

It’s easier to appreciate the Scherzer signing from a distance, fan or writer. You’re happy that a hometown kid and Mizzou grad received the golden parachute, but you’re also very glad it’s not your city’s team that is flying the plane.


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