Eight-time All-Star Max Scherzer is nearing a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the agreement was still being worked on and would be subject to a successful physical.
The $43.33 million average salary would easily set a baseball record, smashing the $36 million Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole in averaging in his $324 million, nine-year contract with New York.
Scherzer, a 37-year-old right-hander, would have the right to opt out after the 2023 season to become a free agent once again. Scherzer also receives a full no-trade provision, requiring his approval for any deals.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Scherzer was 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA last season for the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him on July 30. He struck out 236 and walked 36 in 179 1/3 innings, averaging 94.4 mph with his fastball in the final season of a $210 million, seven-year contract that included $105 million in deferred money payable from 2022-28.
He is 190-97 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 major league seasons for Arizona (2008-09), Detroit (2010-14), Washington and the Dodgers.
A workhorse who helped the Nationals win the 2019 World Series title, Scherzer won the AL Cy Young in 2013 and consecutive NL Cy Youngs in 2016 and 2017. Scherzer joins a rotation headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who didn’t pitch after July 7 because of right forearm tightness.
Noah Syndergaard, returning from Tommy John surgery, left for a $21 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels. The Mets lost out on left-hander Steven Matz, whose $44 million, four-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals was to be finalized Monday.
New York also has pending deals with center fielder Starling Marte ($78 million for four years), outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar, all contingent on successful physicals.