experimented with the idea of adding pitcher Max Scherzer onto their roster to help them win a World Series. Spending money to stack their roster was the plan.
It did not work. The Dodgers fell up short and the Atlanta Braves won it all last October. The stack folded, and Scherzer’s season was over.
Even still, it was a season consisting of domination on the mound, holding a 15-4 record with a 2.46 ERA. Through 179.1 innings, Scherzer gave up 119 hits and 49 earned runs, a trend slightly lower than his 2019 championship season.
He also punched 236 strikeouts, a similar number as during the 2019 season.
So what does all of that mean for the New York Mets? A great deal actually, one consisting of three years for $130 million for Scherzer.
At 37 years of age, he ranks as the oldest player in MLB history to sign a
$100 million contract. He is also coming off of his best ERA season in his career.
His deal from the New York Mets is one of four that the team has formulated this offseason. This is big news for the Mets for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, this isn’t the 2015 Mets that finished 90-72 in the National League East. So many of the important pieces on that roster are not with the organization anymore.
Scherzer is a big figure as a starting pitcher, casting an impact that is as big as Kershaw or Cole. His mission is not just to win, but to help challenge the culture of the Mets.
Every season, the public perception is this: the Mets will be able to go far in the season with the talent they have. But as the season goes on, their chances trend downhill slowly. By the end of the season, they don’t even have the opportunity to make the Wild Card.
Success has been hard since they
lost the World Series in 2015 against the Kansas City Royals and lost the National League Wild Card in 2016 against the Giants.
Let’s face the hard reality: they have not won a World Series since 1986. The defensive measures are important, and that starts in the bullpen.
Jacob DeGrom leads the pack for the bullpen. He and Scherzer carry a sensible trait: They get better as they age. DeGrom has thrown harder this past season than he did in previous seasons.
Scherzer has become a bit savvier on the mound. His slider and command to hit spots is what makes him dangerous.
It will be important that he changes the culture of the Mets team. The fan base will be looking for growth and winning, and Scherzer can bring both.
Scherzer looks to also fill in some holes on the depth chart. They no longer
have Steven Matz or Noah Syndergaard like they did in 2015. They also no longer need Marcus Stroman. The dynamics of the pitching staff will perhaps change for the better.
To be clear, this is a culture change for the Mets, not player stacking like the Dodgers do. They must win out the NL if they wish to make the playoffs.
How the team in the offseason responds to the lockout, however, will be up to them and their determination. They will not be allowed to participate in trades and free agency. All they can do is pin names on a corkboard.
If they make the most in the offseason and push past all of the hoops during the lockout, then they will be at a better position than other teams.
Let’s go Mets? Let’s first see how the offseason progresses.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.