He is said to prefer the West Coast, so the list of teams is, by now, pretty short.
Thank you, Nicky. You knew they'd be on my list, right? I think it makes sense. Scherzer will stay on the west coast. How about Verlander? https://t.co/gVzgBHr3u1
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) November 9, 2021
It would have to be a contending team willing to pay around $40 million or more for two or three seasons.
A handful of teams meet the criteria, and here are three of them.
3. San Diego Padres
The expectation all along has been Scherzer signing with a West Coast team.
The San Diego Padres were reportedly close to acquiring Scherzer prior to the trade deadline, but the transaction didn’t materialize and he ended up going to the Dodgers instead.
— BetUS Sportsbook & Casino (@BetUS_Official) July 29, 2021
And he was brilliant there, which was a double blow for the Friars.
This time, though, we can’t rule out San Diego signing the veteran right-hander.
Yes, Mike Clevinger will be returning from Tommy John surgery, but Adrian Morejon won’t be around, and Chris Paddack (5.07 ERA in 108.1 frames in 2021) isn’t the same pitcher who impressed in his 2019 rookie season.
That’s why the Padres need to find a way to secure Scherzer’s services this offseason.
2. Los Angeles Angels
If you have been following baseball in the last few years, you know the Los Angeles Angels continually waste Mike Trout’s prime with lousy pitching that prevents the organization from making the playoffs.
Well, the front office has already stated that improving the rotation is an offseason priority.
Imagine pairing Shohei Ohtani (3.18 ERA, 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings) with Scherzer at the top of the rotation, with another free agent signing and the promising Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez rounding out the group.
That hypothetical rotation sure can compete.
The Angels need to direct all their efforts into securing Scherzer, and there will be competition.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
By all accounts, Scherzer enjoyed his time on the Dodgers.
He seemed to be his usual competitive self when on the mound during the 2021 playoffs.
It makes sense for him to go to a team with seemingly unlimited budget willing to satisfy his salary needs, and the Dodgers are one of the most financially stable organizations in MLB.
Scherzer returning makes a lot of sense for both parties, because he can guarantee ace-like innings in the postseason and the team needs more depth than ever.
They saw firsthand in 2021 that an MLB team now needs between nine or ten reliable starters to keep up and navigate through injuries, ineffectiveness, trades, and other scenarios.
As for Scherzer, going to the Dodgers would guarantee him a contending team and a shot at another World Series ring for the entire length of the contract he signs.