Max Scherzer to make MLB-record $43.3M US annually in 3-year deal with Mets

Max Scherzer has shattered baseball's record for highest average salary, agreeing Monday to a three-year, $130-million US contract with the New York Mets.

Rangers, Seager agree to 10-year, $325M US deal according to report

The $43.33 million US average salary on a three-year deal Max Scherzer, pictured, has struck with the Mets, is 20 per cent higher than the previous mark, the $36 million Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging in his nine-year, $324-million deal with New York. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/File)

Max Scherzer has shattered baseball's record for highest average salary, agreeing Monday to a three-year, $130-million US contract with the New York Mets.

The $43.33 million average salary is 20 per cent higher than the previous mark, the $36 million Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging in his nine-year, $324-million deal with New York.

Scherzer 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. The agreement also includes award bonuses.

Scherzer lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., about an hour's drive from the Mets spring training complex in Port St. Lucie. He was planning to take a physical Monday that is needed for the deal to be completed.

A three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time all-star, the 37-year-old right-hander was 15-4 with a 2.46 earned-run average 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 miles per hour with his fastball in the final season of a seven-year pact worth $210 million 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. He has distinctive eyes, blue on the right, brown on the left, a condition known as Heterochromia Iridis.

3 Cy Young Awards

A workhorse who helped the Nationals win the 2019 World Series title, Scherzer won the American League Cy Young in 2013 and consecutive National League Cy Youngs in 2016 and 2017. He finished third in this year's voting behind Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes and Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler.

He has pitched a pair of no-hitters, in 2015 against Pittsburgh and at the Mets.

Scherzer gets $43,333,333 annually. The Mets deal will raise his career earnings to more than $370 million.

He 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. Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker also return under club control.

Noah Syndergaard, returning from Tommy John surgery, left for a one-year deal worth $21 million with the Los Angeles Angels. The Mets lost out on left-hander Steven Matz, who finalized a four-year, $44-million deal on Monday with the St. Louis Cardinals.

New York also has pending deals with centre-fielder Starling Marte ($78 million for four years), outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar, all contingent on successful physicals.

The Mets had baseball's third-highest payroll on Aug. 31 at $196 million, trailing the Dodgers ($261 million) and Yankees ($204 million), They could emerge as the top spender following their first full offseason under owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team in November 2020 from the Wilpon and Katz families in a deal that valued the Mets at a baseball-record $2.42 billion.

As baseball heads to a likely lockout when the collective bargaining agreement expires Wednesday night, Scherzer is a member of the union's eight-player executive subcommittee.

His agreement, like Cole's, was negotiated by agent Scott Boras.

Rangers, Seager agree to franchise-record deal: report

The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a 10-year, $325-million deal with shortstop Corey Seager, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal was pending a physical and wasn't finalized.

Seager was the World Series MVP in 2020 and a two-time all-star in his seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBI in 95 games this year, when he broke a finger on his right hand after getting hit by a pitch May 15 and missed 2 1/2 months.

The deal for Seager is the biggest in Rangers history, and matches Giancarlo Stanton for the fifth largest in overall value in baseball. The $325 million trails only the deals of Mike Trout ($426.5 million), Mookie Betts ($365 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340 million) and Bryce Harper ($330 million).

Seager's deal with the Rangers came a day after Texas reached an agreement on a seven-year, $175-million contract with Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien, according a person familiar with that deal that was also subject to a successful physical.

After losing 102 games this year and going into the of-season having only $28 million committed to salaries for 2022, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and general manager Chris Young had indicated they were willing to spend as needed and could be active in free agency to improve the team.

The Rangers have committed to more than $561 million in future salaries with four deals already ahead of a potential lockdown after the five-year agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Texas also has deals in place with right-handed starter Jon Gray for $56 million over four years, and outfielder Kole Calhoun for $5.2 million next season. Those deals have not been finalized or announced by the club.

Ozuna suspended 20 games

Atlanta outfielder Marcell Ozuna received a retroactive 20-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

Ozuna was arrested May 29 on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery after police officers said they witnessed him attacking his wife. He was placed on administrative leave under the domestic violence policy.

The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 10 and covers the final 24 days of the regular season, costing him approximately $1.55 million of his $12 million salary.

"Having reviewed the totality of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Ozuna violated our policy and that discipline is appropriate," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Ozuna did not play after May 25 and went on the injured list May 29 with two dislocated fingers on his left hand, missing the Atlanta's run to their first World Series title since 1995.

"Any instance of domestic violence is unacceptable, and we fully support the decision by the commissioner's office regarding Marcell," Atlanta said in a statement. "We are encouraged to know that Marcell has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is taking the necessary measures to learn and grow from the situation."

Ozuna's agent, Melvin Roman, did not immediately respond to a text seeking comment.

Ozuna is entering the second season of a four-year, $65-million contract with the Atlanta.

Fulton County District Attorney's office spokesman Jeff DiSantis confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that charges against Ozuna can be dropped if Ozuna completes the conditions of a pretrial diversion program he agreed to on Sept. 9.

The conditions include six months of supervision that can be reduced to three months. Ozuna also was ordered to complete a 24-week family violence intervention program, complete at least 200 hours of community service and take an anger management course.

Ozuna's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 13.

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