3. Max Scherzer
It’s what the Astros would do. Plain and simple.
Passing on signing Max Scherzer to a long-term contract after the 2014 season that would’ve taken him through age 37? Fine. We get it. But … oops, we’ve arrived at age 37, and Max Scherzer still rules. How’d that work out, Hal?
Scherzer is currently dealing for the moribund Nationals, striking out 95 men in 69.1 innings pitched. He won a World Series for the Nats after battling through traction, unable to stand due to back spasms that scratched him from Game 5, only to rise again and fight through Game 7.
Ignoring a two- or three-year deal for Scherzer that would likely take him to the end of his career is something you could hear Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner justifying in your head already, but … someone’s going to do it. That team that takes the plunge will likely be getting another year or two of ace-type performance — and if not, for whatever reason, the Yankees should be at the top of the list of teams that can weather a mistake of this nature.
Conventional wisdom tells you not to double down on a mistake by acting too late on an opportunity you’ve already bypassed … but Scherzer keeps defying conventional wisdom anyway. The Yankees bet on a backslide from age 31 to 37 and he got much, much better. If his 2023 is below-average but his 2022 delivers a World Series to Houston or Boston, certain Yankees front office members (and their Twitter defenders) will be claiming victory about Year 2 of the deal. Book it.
Just end the discussion and do it yourself.