Although there was mutual interest in a reunion between the Los Angeles Dodgers and free agent Max Scherzer, the future Hall of Famer ultimately decided to head back to the East Coast.
Scherzer reportedly agreed to a three-year, $130 million contract with the New York Mets that includes a no-trade clause, no deferred money and a record-setting average annual value of $43.3 million.
Scherzer was one of the Dodgers’ five key free agents, along with Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. With so many important players reaching the open market, it was always likely L.A. would not be able to retain them all.
Although the Dodgers were favored to retain the 37-year-old at various points in the process, they reportedly were not willing to guarantee a third year that the Mets did, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
The Dodgers were one of four or five teams, including the Angels and San Francisco Giants, in the mix for Scherzer, according to people with knowledge of the situation. But the Dodgers declined to offer Scherzer three guaranteed years. By Sunday evening team officials were pessimistic.
It is a disappointing outcome for the Dodgers, and likely has a lot to do with the uncertainty surrounding Trevor Bauer, who was accused of sexual assault this past season.
The Dodgers are still waiting on a ruling from MLB about Bauer’s future and the L.A. District Attorney’s Office is still deciding whether criminal charges will be filed.
How will Dodgers replace Scherzer?
The Dodgers still need to add two starting pitchers this offseason, with one of them potentially being Kershaw.
Along with Kershaw, the top remaining free-agent starters are Marcus Stroman, Yusei Kikuchi, Carlos Rodon, Alex Wood and Danny Duffy, so the trade market might be the more likely way to fill the void left by Scherzer.
L.A. has already checked in on the cost forCincinnati Reds’ starters Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, and they could look into acquiring former Dodger Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics.
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