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Max Scherzer’s $57 Million Game: Winning the World Series With the Texas Rangers but Earning Big Across Three Different Teams

Published 11/13/2023, 12:58 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The world of baseball has no shortage of stars who have achieved notoriety and have records that are enviable. And when it comes to pitching, Max Scherzer is among the elite. Scherzer is one of the best pitchers of the 21st century, with three Cy Young awards and two World Series championships to his name.

Apart from that, after making his MLB debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2008, he has achieved almost everything under the sun. Still, the 39-year-old never misses an opportunity to make headlines, and that was the case back in 2021 as well.

Max Scherzer: A move that broke record books

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It was 2021 when the 8x All-Star signed a historic 3-year, $130 million contract with the New York Mets. This contract was memorable and generated headlines as it saw Scherzer becoming the oldest player in MLB history to sign a $100 million contract, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

At the time of signing, Mets owner Steve Cohen said, “Max is one of the best pitchers of this or any generation. It’s a great day for the New York Mets. It’s an even better day for our fans.” It was a significant move on the part of the cash-rich Mets, as they hoped that the inclusion of the highly-rated pitcher might improve their championship chances.

At the same time, with Scherzer being fairly late in his career, it was a high-profile challenge. And he did live up to this hype, as during his 607-day stint with the Mets, he had an impressive 3.02 ERA with a 20-9 win-loss record. His significant achievements made sure that he remained in the public eye and was a sought-after commodity.

A signing against the greater wish

It was 2023 when Scherzer was traded to the Texas Rangers, a move that was hard to predict and a surprise for fans and analysts alike, as the Rangers were not considered a top-tier team in the same vein as the Mets.

Rangers Manager Chris Young celebrated his entry into the squad, saying, “Obviously, Max’s pedigree is a future Hall of Fame pitcher, and the winner that he is is a perfect fit for what we need right now.” He added, “You can never have enough starting pitching, and to add someone of Max’s caliber is a great addition to our club. We landed the player we feel like is going to help us get where we want to go this year.” Even the famed Ranger’s manager, Bruce Bochy, seconded Young as he said, “It’s great. We’re pumped about it. We’re getting an experienced guy with a tremendous resume.”

While many pondered the choice, Scherzer had his reasons. Being part of the young Rangers’ core and having the opportunity to work alongside them was a plus for the experienced pitcher. Apart from that, the Rangers’ culture and the opportunity to play in front of the passionate Rangers’ fan base amidst the atmosphere of the Globe Life Field must have also contributed. And it was all a success, as the Rangers defied all expectations and won the World Series in 2023.

A money inflow from all three corners

Scherzer’s ability on the mound is well known, but his financial acumen is no less impressive. Apart from being a proponent of player rights, he had cash coming in from three corners. The Mets and another former team, the Washington Nationals, were still paying Scherzer even after the trade to the Rangers.

When he was traded to the Rangers, he was owed around $58 million from this $130 million deal. The Rangers’ cost of carrying the pitcher was ‌$22.5 million, with $10 million in 2023 and the remainder in 2024. The Mets agreed to pay the balance of Scherzer’s $35.5 million salary over the next 14 months as part of the trade.

via Getty

Meanwhile, the Nationals paid $15 million per year to ‘Mad Max’ in deferred payments. Notably, Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals in 2015. As part of the deal, it was agreed that Scherzer would receive $105 million over 2022–2028, which adds up to $15 million per year.

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How Max Scherzer mastered his World Series win

While the Texas Rangers World Series win had many heroes, Max Scherzer stood out. His dominant performance in the World Series, striking out 27 batters in 21 innings, was one of the primary reasons the Rangers were able to defeat the spirited Arizona Diamondbacks. That too in just five games. It was a fitting end to a remarkable season for Scherzer and the team alike.

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So far, for Scherzer, whatever he touches turns into gold. He was instrumental in the Nationals 2019 World Series run, impressed with the Mets, and found the ultimate success with the Rangers. With age not on his side and injuries creating more doubt, it is not known how much longer he can hold on. But it is almost certain that fans will remember his legacy and his achievements in multiple uniforms, even his stint with the Dodgers, for years to come.

Watch This Story: Rangers’ $130M Ace Faces Injury Setback In World Series Build-Up

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Written by:

Paaritosh.dutt

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Paaritosh Dutt is an author for Major League Baseball at EssentiallySports. He had always been intrigued by American culture, particularly its television shows. As the years went by, his interest in American culture only grew, and he began to follow American sports more closely.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj