The reason Max Scherzer is unlikely for the St. Louis Cardinals
There is one reason that Max Scherzer is unlikely to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, and as expected, it comes down to the financials.
We have heard it for most of the last 12 months: will the St. Louis Cardinals pursue Max Scherzer?
Should the Cardinals pursue Scherzer? Absolutely. 100 percent. No questions asked. Scherzer would transform their rotation like no other pitcher can and, paired with Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright, would give them perhaps the best trio of pitchers in baseball. It would certainly have them in the conversation, at least.
Just look at Scherzer’s numbers. In 11 starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he went 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA and an 89/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his 14 seasons, he has posted a 3.16 ERA in 2536.2 innings with a 3020/677 strikeout-to-walk ratio in what is a surefire Hall of Fame career.
But a pitcher of that caliber comes at a cost — and that’s where a Scherzer to St. Louis scenario becomes more of a dream than reality.
Scherzer, 37, is seeking a three-year deal with a record-setting average annual value, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The current record is held by Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, who has a three-year, $102 million deal ($34 million per season). To sign Scherzer, a team may need to give him a three-year, $120 million deal ($40 million per season).
If there is any pitcher worthy of such a contract, it’s Scherzer. But a $40 million per season deal, or anything in that range, would hinder the Cardinals of any other potential moves. That means no offensive upgrades or no additional bullpen help in the late innings. Sure, Scherzer’s addition would be a gamechanger, but it’s not the kind of move that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has shown an affinity for making.
So, yes, while the Cardinals are likely going to be interested in Scherzer, it comes at a cost — and it’s going to prevent the star right-hander from ever pitching for his hometown team.