Before the season, he signed a lucrative three-year, $130 million contract that made him the highest paid player in baseball on an average annual value (AAV) basis.
Despite his advanced age, and the size of his contract, it’s safe to say that Scherzer has lived up to his deal performance-wise.
For that, we will use Wins Above Average (WAR): it’s an all inclusive stat to measure on-field value compared to a “replacement level” player.
“Largest 2022 contracts in MLB, with 2022 fWAR: 1. Scherzer $43.3M, 4.0 WAR; 2. Trout $37.1M, 4.3; 3. Rendon $36.6M, 0.9; T-4. Cole $36M, 3.2; T-4. DeGrom $36M, 1.5; 6. Bauer $35.3M, 0.0; 7. Correa $35.1M, 2.8; T-8. Strasburg $35M, 0.0; T-8. Arenado $35M, 6.8; 10. Lindor $34.1M, 5.3,” MLB Metrics tweeted.
Largest 2022 contracts in MLB, with 2022 fWAR:
1. Scherzer $43.3M, 4.0 WAR
2. Trout $37.1M, 4.3
3. Rendon $36.6M, 0.9
T-4. Cole $36M, 3.2
T-4. DeGrom $36M, 1.5
6. Bauer $35.3M, 0.0
7. Correa $35.1M, 2.8
T-8. Strasburg $35M, 0.0
T-8. Arenado $35M, 6.8
10. Lindor $34.1M, 5.3
— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) August 29, 2022
Scherzer Has Been A Beast When Healthy
Even while missing a few weeks with an oblique strain in May and June, Scherzer has produced a strong 4.0 WAR (a cumulative stat).
That list actually shows that high-priced players are considered as such for a reason: they usually produce.
Of those players, those with a low WAR output, such as Jacob deGrom, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg, have barely played due to injuries; and Trevor Bauer has been out for the whole season because of suspensions.
In the specific case of Scherzer, he should be credited with keeping the Mets rotation afloat for a large portion of the first half while deGrom was out with his own injury.
In 19 starts and 122.2 innings, Scherzer has a strong 2.27 ERA and 148 strikeouts, showing the same level that made him a three-time Cy Young award winner in the past.
Age doesn’t seem to affect the right-hander at all, and he is just getting started: knowing his competitive nature, the most important part of the season is just starting for him.