The best starting pitcher on the market at the moment is hoping to sign before Dec. 1, which is when the current CBA expires. That man is Max Scherzer.
Do the New York Yankees absolutely need a co-ace alongside Gerrit Cole? Not really. That’d be a luxury … but isn’t that the point if you’re the New York Yankees? As the richest franchise in the sport, it’s easier to absorb those types of additions, and those types of additions help put you over the edge as a World Series contender.
That’s why the Yankees not being mentioned as one of the finalists for Scherzer continues to puzzle fans. Why isn’t general manager Brian Cashman out-bidding the competition here? Why are the Yankees still standing pat? Wouldn’t the addition of Scherzer help the fan base better cope with the organization’s decision to pass on the three-time Cy Young winner in free agency seven years ago?
The Yankees’ absence here can only mean one of two things: Scherzer has no interest in joining the Yankees, or the Yankees aren’t interested in going for it all in 2022.
To be fair, after we questioned the Yankees for not acquiring Scherzer at the July trade deadline, it was later revealed he wouldn’t approve a deal to the Bronx. Understandable. The Bombers were in a bad place and Scherzer wanted to land with a more established contender.
But now that he’s a free agent, the Yankees have money on their side. Maybe he doesn’t want to come here and that’s still the case. That shouldn’t stop the Yankees from being “in” on the right-hander. They should be at the front of the line with one of the biggest offers. Because the Mets being rumored here suggests there’s at least a chance, if you’re willing to partake in the sweepstakes.
The Max Scherzer rumors are a bad look for the Yankees.
Truth be told, both scenarios are bad for the Yankees. If Scherzer doesn’t want to come to the Bronx, it further shows how far this franchise has fallen since 2009. Do some free agents now feel like it’s no longer worth being a Yankee? The team hasn’t been that good OR has been defined by playoff chokes. The stakes are higher. The media is unforgiving. The taxes are higher. What’s the appeal? “Wearing the pinstripes” no longer attracts anybody and everybody.
On the flip side, if the Yankees aren’t willing to splurge on this kind of expenditure, it further proves that this front office is stubborn and will only do things “their way” … because if you don’t gather from this rumor that the Mets’ sole mention on Scherzer’s potential list of landing spots is because of money, then you’re not paying enough attention.
So if the Yankees are no longer the team that blows (the right) players away with mammoth contract offers, then what are they? The historical relevance isn’t enough to lean on in free agency. This team has largely fallen short in the postseason since 2001. They haven’t been a powerhouse in over a decade. They have one division title since 2013.
When you combine the two potential factors, it’s the worst-case scenario. That’s why we’re only hoping one is true … or else we’re staring down the barrel of the same problems for the foreseeable future when 2020 and 2021 should have sparked monumental change.