Before Max Scherzer took the mound for the Mets at Citi Field on Thursday night, his name was in the news earlier this week. It was mostly because of a report from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. Here’s what he said about one possible trade deadline scenario for New York:
Start with Scherzer — no stranger to Deadline deals. Regarding Scherzer’s no-trade clause, he’s 38 and looking to win another title. Several industry sources have suggested he would waive it for the right situation. Regarding the size of Scherzer’s contract, the Mets could use Cohen’s riches to pay it down in hopes of landing a premium prospect in return.
Of course, many began thinking the conversation has already happened between the Mets and one of their aces. It hasn’t yet. When will Max make a decision as to whether or not he would be OK with waiving his no-trade clause? Not until he hears something specific from team owner Steve Cohen (via Audacy):
I’ll comment when Steve [Cohen] says sell. Until then, it’s pointless. It’s just clickbait now.
When he says ‘sell’ – he drives this. So it’s pointless for me to talk about anything in the contract whatsoever. I’m here to show up to win. That’s all I’m here to do, and continue to believe that we’re gonna win.
I’m not gonna comment on anything. Because otherwise, it’s just clickbait.
Well, here we are, talking about it anyways. It’s only natural to do so, right?
Earlier this week, I mentioned Scherzer as a potential trade chip if the Mets sell. Sending Mad Max packing comes with a couple of hurdles that need to be jumped over. One is that no-trade clause, and the other is his $43.3 million salary (plus his 2024 player option for the same price).
We already know Cohen would be willing to send money in a potential trade to get a better return. It’s something the Mets have done already with Eduardo Escobar. As for the no-trade clause, you’d have to think Scherzer would be willing to waive it if it meant a chance at winning another World Series.
He has another baby at home (his fourth) and recently bought a house on Long Island, so there are other variables in play here. But at 38 years old and not many years left in the league, he’d likely jump at the chance to win elsewhere if it doesn’t work out in Queens. Scherzer has waived a no-trade clause once before, sending him from the Nationals to the Dodgers at the 2021 trade deadline.
So, we’ll see what happens. This is your typical, “I’m just focusing on the next game/next start, and will let everything else work itself out”. That’s really all he has control over. And after a rough start to 2023, Scherzer’s numbers look close to his career norms again. Through 14 starts and 76.2 innings, he’s 7-2 with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP to go along with a 26.8% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate.