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Dodgers Offer to Max Scherzer Revealed, Exploring Options to Replace Mad Max



The Los Angeles Dodgers were widely perceived to be the favorites to re-sign Max Scherzer this offseason, but when all was said and done the three-time Cy Young Award winner instead signed a 3-year deal worth a record $130 million with the Mets. The deal will pay him an average of $43.3 million a season, setting a new Major League Baseball record for the highest average annual value.

Many believed the Dodgers would flex their financial muscle and present Scherzer with an offer exceeding $100M, but it’s now evident that their offer wasn’t anywhere near the Mets. According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, the Dodgers were a little below the $40 million range.

“The Mets went over $40 million a year,” Heyman said on his Big Time Baseball podcast, “$43.3 million for Scherzer, the Dodgers were more in the $36 million range.”

So, if LA extended a contract offer to Scherzer that was set to pay him $36 million per year, the next question is for how many years? Well, Per Jorge Castillo of the LA Times, the Dodgers, “declined to offer Scherzer three guaranteed years.” Though it would have matched Gerrit Cole’s record-setting AAV from 2019, it’s quite apparent that the Dodgers weren’t close to matching the Mets contract offer for Scherzer.

The question now is: why didn’t president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman pony up the money and years to make it a more difficult decision for the eight-time All-Star? Was it the uncertainty with Trevor Bauer’s contract? Did Scherzer’s ‘overcooked’ dead arm that forced him to miss Game 6 of the NLCS give the team second thoughts about giving top dollar to a thirty-seven-year-old pitcher with a ton of mileage on his arm? We may never find out, but Scherzer is headed to Queens and the Dodgers need to fill out their rotation for next season.

We discuss the Dodgers’ attempt to bring back Scherzer and if they should have made him a more aggressive offer. Plus, how they can replace his spot in the front of the rotation through potential free agent signings and possible trades.

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In all likelihood, the Dodgers will explore the trade market once a new collective bargaining agreement comes together. We’ve talked before about the Reds and Luis Castillo make sense as trade partners once again. LA could also attempt to re-acquire Frankie Montas from the A’s who are cleaning house. 

Carlos Rodon might also be an intriguing arm on the free agent market if a favorable contract can be worked out.

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NEXT: Pitcher Danny Duffy Avoids Major Surgery, Will Not Retire

Written by Doug McKain

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  1. We have to assume that AF has a plan for 2022. He always has. Perhaps he thinks that 140 million saved on Scherzer can help secure two (or more with a trade) pitchers that can add depth to the pitching staff. In stead of getting 30 starts from Scherzer, maybe the dodgers can get 40 starts. Obviously, the question is “will the starts from the added pitchers be nearly as good as the quality starts from Scherzer”?

  2. I’m not sure Scherzer even wanted to play for LA. Maybr Easy Coast, dislike of the organization, the Boras factor?
    But I agree a three yr contract for an aging pitcher with a dead arm is a big risk.
    Building around Buehler, Urias and (Kershaw) shouldn’t be hard.

    • Agree, to much money & years for Scherzer & then he disses on the F.O., the manager & the coaching staff! Not first class at all! Scherzer looks like a Money Hoar! I definitely think the team is way ahead if they can get 1 or 2 younger pitchers!! Also, not comfortable at all with Kershaw’s arm & back. Dodgers definitely need to be careful on monetary commitment to Clayton.

      • Kershaw’s legacy is worth overpaying for…it’s important to us all he end his career as a Dodger…assuming he passes a physical I’m not too concerned.

        Don’t forget they have 2-3 pitchers in the pipeline that are probably ready for next year as well…retain Jansen and Kelly and maybe buy one starting arm. And Freddie Freeman is looming in the background…

  3. I doubt the Bauer contract was a huge factor (though it mattered some) because he’d be off the roster by that third year…more likely, the Dodgers saw Scherzer as simply being too expensive at his age given that he’d already run out of gas this September and they’ll need to reup Buehler, Bellinger, Urias et al with a potential albatross around their neck with Max.

  4. 3 years $130 million vs. 2 years $72 million… Can’t fault Max for taking the cash over being able to win it all, he’s already done that.

    • Yeah, but you can’t fault the team for taking a smart pass on that. Think about the other things that can be done with that AAV – they’ll find quality starts elsewhere for way less money. I read the other day that Zaidi in San Fransisco is looking to just average five quality innings per start and working around that with his bullpen…anything more and you’re overpaying. It’s smart and I imagine it’s something he learned from AF.

    • ” Can’t fault Max ”

      Couldn’t care less about Max. He’s a Met.

      The Mets think he’s worth more the LA’s FO. I trust our FO. The Mets have stunk for a long time.

  5. Scherzer isn’t worth anywhere near $36 million a year, which is $20 million a year more than he made in 2016!
    If he made the maximum possible 33 starts, which is I’d-bet-my-life-on-it unlikely, that’s nearly $1.1million a start. More than $10,000 per pitch? Seriously? Have people lost their minds? He will be 38 in July and I think that we’re just incredibly lucky to have dodged that $$$$$$ bullet.

  6. Dodgers and fans upset that someone they threw ridiculous money at turned them down for once. There will be others available to overpay in the ongoing quest to purchase a pennant and world series. This is precisely what is ruining baseball.

  7. I agree with the idea that, it’s one thing to overpay for Kersh, quite another to overpay Scherzer. Scherzer let the Dodgers down in the playoffs. If Kersh had been in Scherzer’s position, I think he would have given it a go.

  8. To me, the elephant in the room is Bauer. Seems like a half year for the cops and MLB is way beyond reasonable. MLB needs to get off the dime and rule so we know what we have going forward. The Dodgers are the ones being penalized. B is getting his $$’s. Dodgers are paying, down a pitcher and are in limbo. This has gone on long enough. MLB, just do it.

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