Max Scherzer rumors: Red Sox enter the race?


While the Red Sox have compiled a relatively solid collection of starting pitchers this offseason, there’s still a clear hole at the top of rotation. They’ve been linked to a number of ace candidates this offseason, from Jon Lester and James Shields in free agency to Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann, and Johnny Cueto on the trade market. However, one name that hasn’t come up too often is ironically the best pitcher available in Max Scherzer, but with Scherzer still available as we enter January, the Red Sox appear to have entered the mix.

Scherzer, who had shown flashes of brilliance during his younger years, broke out in a big way during the 2013 season. In his age 28 season, Scherzer went a remarkable 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9. Scherzer followed his breakout campaign with a similarly excellent 2014 season as he went 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA to go with 10.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

Scherzer will still be only 30 on Opening Day next season and still has plenty of elite seasons left in his career. However, his age combined with his phenomenal success in the past two years will make him a very expensive option for Boston’s ace vacancy.

There’s no way that the Red Sox would be able to sign Scherzer while staying beneath the luxury tax threshold. Earlier in the offseason, though, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino did suggest that the Red Sox could blow past the luxury tax this offseason. If Lucchino and the Red Sox front office decide to break the bank this winter, there’s no better candidate to pay than Scherzer.

It’s still unlikely that the Red Sox will come away with Scherzer. However, a lack of legitimate candidates may lead to a smaller contract for Scherzer than what was expected at the beginning of the offseason. That’s not to say that he’ll come cheap; he’ll likely sign for more money and more years than Jon Lester, who signed for 6 years and $155M with the Cubs. Still, if the Red Sox want a legitimate ace to lead their rotation and springboard them into the ranks of the best teams in baseball, then Scherzer is their man.