The Max Scherzer contract with the Mets is quite similar in structure to the one Trevor Bauer received from the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter.
So much so, that Bauer appears to be taking credit for setting the precedent for Scherzer’s three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets, which makes him the highest-paid pitcher annually in MLB history.
“Short term deal for high AAV huh?” Bauer tweeted on Monday. “Hmmm. Interesting. Congrats Max!”
If Bauer’s subtleties were not enough, his agent — Rachel Luba — credited her client for creating such a market for Scherzer to strike the deal.
“Cool to see Scherzer use this new ‘market’ Bauer strived to create for players — shorter deals w/higher AAV for top-market guys,” she wrote on Twitter. “Craeting that market & getting comfortable w/$40M+ salaries was a huge challenge. Awesome seeing him&his agent use this new market to build off of.”
It is true that Bauer took a unique deal last year for a 30-year-old pitcher— three years, $102 million. While the AAV fell short of Gerrit Cole’s $36 million per year, Bauer’s contract gave him more money up front, earning $40 million in 2021 while set to earn $45 million in 2022 and $17 million in 2023.
The difference with Scherzer is that he is 37 years old and was it was highly unlikely anyone was going to give him a long-term deal anyway.
Surely, Bauer is the only other pitcher who has come close to getting what Scherzer is set to make with the Mets on such a deal, but until more elite pitchers start taking short-term, high value deals in their prime, it may be a little harder to argue that Bauer created this market.