Yankees Don’t Seem To Be In On Scherzer, And They Shouldn’t Be


There have been reports and rumors circulating through television and social media that the Yankees are not interested in pursuing free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer. After hearing that Scherzer was looking for a contract in the range of $200 million, I think the Yanks would be wise to avoid signing him.

There’s one pitcher in the entire league who may be worth a $200 million contract, and that’s obviously Clayton Kershaw out in Los Angeles.  So if they do the right thing and stay away from Scherzer, who should they look at to add to their rotation? After the Dodgers signed Brandon McCarthy for the next four years, the Yankees rotation looks a bit slim.

With the only guys you can be sure to see pitching in the Bronx next season being Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and Michael Pineda, I have two guys in mind that could make a splash for the fan base and at the same time greatly improve the staff: Cole Hamels and James Shields

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Let’s start with Hamels. He’s signed to the Phillies through the 2018 season making $23.5 million for each year remaining on his contract, so he would have to be acquired via trade. This means that the Yanks would have to part ways with some of their top prospects. While I’m not exactly crazy about trading away some of the young talent in the farm system, you could make the argument that Hamels might be worth it.

Hamels has only improved as he’s gotten older. Since 2010, his worst ERA at the end of a season was in 2013 when it was 3.60. He also immediately turned things around when he finished last season with a 2.46 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP. He turns 31 at the end of the month, so if the Yankees were to acquire him they wouldn’t have to carry him in the rotation up until he’s 40. They could let him walk into free agency by the time he turns 35.

Then there is James Shields. He entered free agency this winter coming off of one of his best seasons. He finished 2014 going 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.181 WHIP over 227 innings pitched.

What I like about Shields is the fact that he only made $13.5 million last season, so I think the Yankees could get away with offering him no more than $17.5 million per year over 4 years. I’d say keep it at no more than 5 years because he does, in fact, turn 33 at the end of this month, and I don’t want to see the Yankees pay a guy $100 million who’s shown to be shaky in October.

If they could get Shields at 4 years and $70 million that would be great, but I highly doubt that will happen as I’m sure Shields would demand more. So I say max the offer out at 5 years and $90 million, and see if he bites. He may not be interested, but I’m definitely not interested in giving a 33-year-old pitcher with a career ERA above 3.50 a contract any longer than 5 years.

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