Max Scherzer’s free agent deal with the Mets is of the historic variety. (Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Max Scherzer: Inside His Record-breaking Contract with the Mets

The accomplished ace returns to the NL East with the largest contract in MLB history by average annual value.

The New York Mets spend big one year ago in their first full season under the leadership of new owner Steve Cohen. And after a disappointing finish outside of the playoff picture, they’re not taking any chances heading into 2022.

Max Scherzer, the single best pitcher on the board in MLB free agency, agreed to a three-year contract with the Mets on Monday worth $130 million.

An eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and 2019 World Series champion with the Nationals, Scherzer now returns to the NL East after spending the back end of the 2021 season with the Dodgers via trade. He and LA fell short of a World Series trip, succumbing in six NLCS games to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves.

Scherzer arrives in Queens as the owner of the single largest contract in MLB history by average annual value — $43.33 million per season, smashing Gerrit Cole’s previous record of $36 million with the Yankees.

Max Scherzer’s Contract Details with the Mets

Years: 3
Total value: $130 million
Average annual value: $43.33 million
Deferred money: $0

Max Scherzer’s Career Earnings

Salary data via Spotrac.

  • 2006: One year, $3 million (Diamondbacks)
  • 2007-2010: Four years, $4.3 million (Diamondbacks)
  • 2011: One year, $600,000 (Tigers)
  • 2012: One year, $3.75 million (Tigers)
  • 2013: One year, $6.725 million (Tigers)
  • 2014: One year, $15.525 million (Tigers)
  • 2015-2021: Seven years $215 million (Nationals → Dodgers)
  • 2021-2024: Three years, $130 million (Mets)

TOTAL TO DATE (no deferred money): $139,575,000

TOTAL TO DATE (including deferred money owed): $244,575,000

TOTAL THRU 2024 (including deferred money owed): $374,575,00

As part of his contract with the Nationals signed ahead of the 2015 season, Washington will pay Scherzer $15 million in deferred money once per year from 2022 through 2027. The Dodgers will make the final $15 million deferred payment in 2028.

(If you’re asking whether that means the Nationals will effectively be paying Scherzer to pitch against them, the answer is 100% yes.)

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