Red Sox: What if Boston signed Max Scherzer instead of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval?
Max Scherzer in Washington
Words simply cannot describe what Mad Max has meant to the Washington Nationals. He has been one of the most durable players in baseball over the last 8+ years, making no fewer than 30 starts in each season since becoming a full-time starter in 2009. The Nationals opened up the pocketbook in the amount of $210 million spanning over 7 years. With two plus years into the deal, lets take a look at the numbers
2015 brought quite a bit of success as Scherzer for the 7th year in a row was able to win 12+ games. He posted a 14-12 record in 33 starts with a 2.79 ERA pitching 228 2/3 innings, striking out 276 batters. He also set a career high with three shutouts in four complete games. It was his third straight season with 210+ innings pitched. Mad Max was just 30 years old, so plenty left in the tank right?
The follow season, Scherzer matched a record only achieved by Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. It had been over 18 years since a pitcher in the modern era had struck out 20 batters and Scherzer did it on May 11, 2016 against his former club, the Detroit Tigers. Scherzer ended up winning the Cy Young, his 2nd in four years and first in the National League. He first won it in 2013 with the Tigers after posting a 21 – 3 record with 240 K’s and a 2.90 ERA.
Scherzer’s 20 K season and beyond
Scherzer in 2016 posted a 20-7 record with a 2.96 ERA in 34 starts over 228 1/3 innings with 284 strikeouts. He did allow a league-high 31 home runs but that didn’t deter from him flat out doing his job. His K/9 Ratio has also steadily increased from 2013. It has gone up from 10.1 in ’13 to 10.3 in ’14 to 10.9 in ’15 to 11.2 in ’16 to 11.5 in ’17. Scherzer is like a fine wine, getting better with time.
2017 hasn’t been bad either posting a 4-3 record with a 3.02 ERA in 9 starts. He’s struck out 76 batters in 59 2/3 innings. His 76 K’s on the year are good enough for the 2nd most in the National League. He’s only two behind Zach Greinke who has pitched in one more game.
All that’s left now is figuring out which move was the better one.