Max Scherzer is looking to break the $200MM threshold in his next contract, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi (Twitter link). If Scherzer and agent Scott Boras have their way, the right-hander will join Clayton Kershaw (who signed a seven-year, $215MM extension with the Dodgers last winter) as the only pitchers to receive a deal worth more than $200MM in guaranteed money.
It’s no surprise that Scherzer and Boras are aiming high, and indeed most pundits figured the former Cy Young winner would receive the richest free agent deal of the 2014-15 offseason — MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes, for instance, projected Scherzer for a seven-year, $185MM contract. While the $200MM figure is eye-popping, it’s not that outlandish if you consider the numbers being speculated around Jon Lester’s next contract, Morosi notes, and “if you believe Scherzer deserves ~15% more.” (A reasonable argument if you go by pitch counts, as Boras does.)
There has been relatively little buzz about Scherzer this winter since Boras is expected to pursue his usual tactic of waiting until deeper into the offseason to land a deal for his high-profile client. There’s also the fact that virtually the entire pitching market is waiting for Lester to sign, as his decision will impact countless teams’ future plans. The big-market teams that who miss out on Lester, for instance, could naturally turn their attention to Scherzer in their search for a top-of-the-rotation ace. There’s also teams like the Yankees who haven’t been involved in the Lester hunt but are rumored to prefer Scherzer.