Blue Jays Rumors: Is Max Scherzer a Possibility?
If you’ve been looking for a big Blue Jays rumor, you’ve been waiting a long time. It has been so quiet that even seemingly improbable rumors get our attention like the Nick Swisher one from yesterday. Along the same lines comes another rumor that is sure to grab the attention of Blue Jays fans.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has listed the Blue Jays among teams that could land big free agent starter, Max Scherzer.
Now, in that list are some more realistic landing spots for Scherzer including Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and others. Most of the teams on that list would make sense. The Blue Jays? It is a bit surprising. Heyman’s logic is as follows:
“They’ve always had a five-year limit on contracts, but that may not hold since club president Paul Beeston appears to be a lame duck with limited say so… and could stamp themselves the AL East favorite by signing Scherzer…they have to rely on young-but-talented arms, arms likely younger than they’d like. Needs at closer and second base remain, though they haven’t seemed to rule out another major move.”
Scherzer would certainly be a huge addition to this club; a club that seems pretty content in sticking with its current starting rotation. However, right now, this rotation has no established ace. Scherzer would be that ace.
The question is: Do the Blue jays actually NEED Scherzer? There is no denying his impact and performance. In fact, one could make the case that the Blue Jays do need him. After this season, Mark Buehrle will be departing (freeing up $20M). Dickey’s set to depart as well. That frees up another $12M assuming the club does not pick up its 2016 option for the same amount.
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So, the Blue Jays could make this work. They’ll need to replace Dickey and Buehrle at the end of the coming season. If they can adjust the contract the way they did for Russell Martin, they very well could afford to bring Scherzer aboard.
Adding Scherzer also pushes the rest of the pitching depth down one spot. It allows for the possibility of sliding Aaron Sanchez into the closer spot. Yes, the club has said they want him to start. But, they also have to recognize that he has a repertoire and velocity that lends itself to closing. Adding Scherzer could kill two birds with one stone. Given the cost of relief help, perhaps spending more on a starter and sliding Sanchez into the bullpen is a better use of money.
Of course, they’ll have to break the 5 yr policy to do this. And, at age 30, Scherzer might be the guy to do that for. Heyman says that that policy has more to do with Paul Beeston and since he is set to depart, the policy may be too. Also, the Blue Jays would have to deal with (cue evil music) Scott Boras. Those two obstacles might be enough that this isn’t more than just a pipe dream.
Signing Max Scherzer would certainly be a huge win for the Blue Jays and their fans. Combined with the moves already made this off season, it would send the message to fans that this team is serious about winning now. A move like this would also prove to be a clear warning shot to the rest of the division that the Blue Jays are playing for keeps. It would serve notice on multiple levels. However, we have to remember that this club will not enter a bidding war against teams like the Yankees or Dodgers. Alex Anthopoulos, who operates in secret, will only go so far.
So, until we hear something a little more definite, we can only cling to these rumors for what they are.