Red Sox: Building a better 2022 rotation with Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer as a 2022 Red Sox rotation building block
The Boston Red Sox may or may not have attempted to trade for right-hander Max Scherzer. Ownership was reportedly interested, but further postmortem trade reports from the Nationals GM Mike Rizzo stated it was not close.
That was then, and now the future awaits Scherzer with free agency. Will Scherzer stay with the Dodgers? Will he test the market? As the saying goes, inquiring minds want to know.
Assuming Scherzer is interested, just what would it take? At least a three-year kiss at over $100 million in all likely hood. At 37-years-old, the three-time Cy Young Award hurler shows no signs of age encroachment. The statistical evidence shows that. This guy can flat-out pitch!
A long-term deal is improbable at Scherzer’s age unless a GM has fallen off the sobriety wagon and goes all outrageous on years and money. That happens you look elsewhere.
Scherzer remains elite, and it brings back memories of the Red Sox taking a risk on another 37-year-old right-hander – Curt Schilling. That is now part of Red Sox legend as in curse extinction, bloody sock, and goodbye to the Yankees.
Does the Red Sox rotation need Scherzer? Does peanut butter need jelly? What is better than one ace? How about two aces? Scherzer and Chris Sale – opposition hitters, can die by the left or right hand. The addition of Scherzer goes far beyond just a mere upgrade. This is not Garrett Richards or Martín Pérez.
Scherzer’s addition would also impact a bullpen that gets burned out the deeper one goes into the season. I doubt Scherzer would be doing many four innings and gone starts without wrestling manager Alex Cora over possession of the baseball.
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The negative is the risk and the associated money. There are no guarantees on continual arm health. We saw that with Sale and two lost seasons and with it lost money. With Sale, there have been concerns throughout his career that pitching style would eventually culminate with Tommy John surgery. I didn’t subscribe to that observational theory, but it proved valid.
The Red Sox management has successfully kept a fiscal lid – meaning luxury tax – on spending. Sale represents 11% of the Red Sox 2021 payroll; that will be stationary in 2022, and adding Scherzer will be just as pricey. Then there are the fiscal outlays for Rafael Devers, to name just one of many.
Pricey also brings up another $16 million example in David Price. Boston will be tapped for that amount in 2022 for the pleasure of dumping the rather petulant lefty. Just another risk/reward factor.
There will be other options besides Scherzer, but he’d remain my primary choice. A choice that would be unnecessary if the farm system was far more productive in churning out starters of quality. That is a topic that has then been thoroughly covered and speculated over for far too long.
Scherzer may represent a rare opportunity to be an accomplished and still skilled veteran without the excessively extended contract obligations. The issue will be one of choice as Scherzer can pick his spot. And the competition for his services could drive up the years and dollars. That – as I previously stated – would implement walk away time.
The Red Sox management owes a signing of this magnitude to fans who suffered through a blah trade deadline approach. This is the Boston Red Sox and not the Kansas City Royals of Cincinnati Reds. A big market team noted for spending habits, 21st-century success, and making tragic free agent mistakes. They can absorb their failures – we pay for them. Kick the tires on Scherzer.