MLB Free Agent Frenzy: Mets sign Scherzer, Tigers land Baez

Free agents have been signing at an unheard of pace this offseason and two more big dominoes fell just before the end of November as Max Scherzer and Javier Baez have both found new homes.

Scherzer, 37, signed a three-year, $130 million deal with the New York Mets, setting a new record for the highest annual average value on a contract at $43.3 million.

The right-hander finished third in NL Cy Young voting this season, his sixth top-three finish in Cy Young voting in his career, going 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 5.2 bWAR, 166 ERA+ and 236 strikeouts over 179.1 innings pitched.

Scherzer split time between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, being traded along with Trea Turner to Los Angeles at last season’s trade deadline.

It’s an incredibly risky move for New York as previously mentioned before, Scherzer is 37, but he hasn’t shown signs of slowing down in recent years.

We move from a current Met to a now-former Met in shortstop/second baseman Javier Baez, who inked a six-year, $140 million deal with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

Baez, who turns 29 on Dec. 1, spent time with the Chicago Cubs and Mets last season and was traded to New York at the trade deadline as part of Chicago’s massive fire sale in 2021.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 17: Javier Baez #23 of the New York Mets looks on during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 17, 2021 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

His eight-year career with the Cubs abruptly ended, but he had a strong partial season with the Mets, hitting .299/.371/.515 in 47 games with a 1.9 bWAR, 141 OPS+, nine home runs and 22 RBI.

Overall, Baez hit .265/.319/.494 in 138 games with a 4.5 WAR, 117 OPS+, 31 home runs and 87 RBI. A major concern for him moving forward is his high strikeout rate and low walk rate, but Baez has been known as a free swinger since coming up to MLB.

This is the second big free agent splash Detroit has made this offseason after signing left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million deal on Nov. 15.

The Mets are expected to be big spenders for the duration of the offseason with owner Steve Cohen getting settled into his second offseason as team owner.

Detroit was one of the surprises of the 2021 MLB season, so there’s a good chance they could continue to make moves to put pressure on the Chicago White Sox in the wide open AL Central.

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