1. Max Scherzer
Yup, another “expensive” deal. But this is supposed to be what the Yankees do. Max Scherzer went to the crosstown Mets on a three-year, $130 million contract in what was a clear “win now” move. You know who else needs starting rotation help and has to win now? The Yankees.
Time and time again, we heard how Scherzer didn’t want to play in New York, which was reportedly a reason the Yankees were unable to acquire him at the 2021 trade deadline. But everybody has a price. And Cohen throwing money at his problems further proved that.
You might call $43.3 million per season a prohibitive amount for a 37-year-old starter, but Scherzer had one of his best seasons in 2021. He’s an everyday difference-maker and would’ve provided great protection for Cole, who, at this point, may not be able to solely carry this rotation by himself and take control of enough must-win games as the fans would prefer. Still a great pitcher, but maybe not a $36 million per year ace. Nothing wrong with it, just a possible reality.
The Yankees made the mistake of passing on Scherzer years ago when he signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals. What happened for the next seven years? New York was held back due to a lack of elite pitching/deep rotation.
Let’s put it this way. If this organization was serious about winning in 2022 — remember, a ton of players are hitting free agency after next year — they would have no issue spending short-term money to make it happen. Instead … we’re hearing about them saving up money for an Aaron Judge extension? Yeah, that’s paramount too, but that doesn’t change the status quo.
And neither did the Yankees’ first month of the offseason.