5* More Free Agents The Yankees Should Avoid This Winter
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
#1. Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher
How much is former American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer looking to get this winter exactly? I mean come on, his most recent employer, the Detroit Tigers, offered up a deal that would’ve paid him $24 million per season for over half a decade. That wasn’t enough? I love electric stuff and getting an ace just like the next guy, but for someone who is heading into his age-31 season in 2015, Mad Max has a little too much mileage for my liking for a guy that is looking for more than a six-year deal.
If the Yankees were willing to front load the deal and he was willing to take less years, say six for example, I’d be just fine with that. However, if Scherzer and his agent, the lovely and talented Scott Boras are looking for an eight-to-ten year deal, thanks by no thanks. Everything about Scherzer is impressive: he’s had five straight seasons of double-digit wins, three straight seasons of 230 strikeouts or more, three straight seasons of an ERA+ of 114 or higher, and six straight seasons of 170 or more innings pitched. Scherzer is an average pitcher in the postseason, posting a career record of 4-3 with an ERA of 3.74 in eight different postseason series in his career.
For the Yankees, it’s not so much that Scherzer is a bad pitcher, because he is not. It’s the dollars and years that it’s going to take to sign him. Shorter years at a higher dollar amount as previously mentioned is ideal, but that most likely won’t happen. Need an example of an ace’s contract gone awry for the Bombers? Look no further than C.C. Sabathia friends. C.C., two years younger at the time of his signing with the Yankees, had 400 or so more innings of work on his left arm.
To make matters worse, his family was unsure about whether they would like living and playing in the Big Apple, so what did the Yankees do? They gave C.C. an opt-out clause and when he threatened to hit the open market after the 2011 season, they gave him more money and years to stay. Since that time, elbow and knee issues, along with diminished velocity have turned this former workhorse into an afterthought–and along with A-Rod, another albatross contract the Bombers are stuck with through the 2016 season, with an easy vesting option for 2017.
If the Yankees were to make the same mistake with an overworked Scherzer, they could literally be on the hook to three pitchers (Masahiro Tanaka included) for more than $22 million dollars each for the next several seasons. It makes no smart financial sense to invest that kind of money in someone who is peaking right now, and will most likely become an issue down the road. The Yankees would be better off using a combination of their younger arms (Shane Greene, Chase Whitley) to fill in holes, and consider bringing back someone that has proven they can handle the Bronx (Brandon McCarthy) or an arm that is better suited for Yankee Stadium and the AL East (Jon Lester) than someone who could become another Bronx casualty of not being able to live up to the pressure of the bright lights, big city (Ed Whitson, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson).