The Yankees have been relatively quiet in November while their American League rivals have been all over the news. The Red Sox signed two of the biggest names on the free agent market, the Blue Jays landed one of their own and also traded for Josh Donaldson, and the Tigers brought Victor Martinez back for four more years. However, one Tiger whose future with the team could potentially be headed to the Bronx. Starter Max Scherzer brought home the 2013 AL Cy Young Award and has gradually usurped more well-known teammate Justin Verlander as ace of one of the AL's best teams. Now, it seems the Yankees would like to add Scherzer to their rotation:
Source tells me #Yankees made long-term offer in neighborhood of 6 yrs to Max Scherzer this morning. Still working to confirm w/2nd source.— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer74) November 29, 2014
The Yankees' starting rotation was a strength last year, but as noted in the free agent target post on Scherzer, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be as strong in 2015. There are question marks all around with Brandon McCarthy and Hiroki Kuroda's returns uncertain, Masahiro Tanaka still recovering from PRP therapy on his UCL, Michael Pineda's shoulder as mysterious as ever, Shane Greene only entering his second season, Ivan Nova coming back from Tommy John surgery, and CC Sabathia's future entirely unclear. For as much as their offense needs to be addressed, their starting rotation could use some reinforcements as well.
Over the past three years, Scherzer has pitched to a 3.24 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings compared to just 2.6 walks per nine. He's been durable, too, making at least 32 starts in each year and averaging 207 innings, compiling 16.9 rWAR. Not bad at all. A six-year offer for Scherzer would almost certainly be matched by other teams considering Scherzer's accomplishments and his relatively light career workload at age 30--1,239 innings compared to, say, the 2,364 innings Sabathia had under his belt by that point. Terms of the offer have not been reported by any trusted sources yet, but a six-year offer offers intrigue regardless.
If the rumor is true that the Yankees have an offer out there for Scherzer, then it would not be surprising at all if they've reached out to Jon Lester as well. Scherzer's the superior pitcher, but Lester does not have draft pick compensation attached to him. Either pitcher would make an excellent addition to the rotation. Do you want the Yankees to sign Scherzer?
Update from second source: "Heard they (#Yankees) were preparing an offer on Wednesday, though I don't know if it was...— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer74) November 29, 2014
"...ever presented to Scherzer or Boras."— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer74) November 29, 2014
had not been finalized on Wednesday. For now, I stand by offer in neighborhood of six years either is on the table or will soon be offered— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer74) November 29, 2014
Yankees haven't offered Max Scherzer a 6-year deal. That report is inaccurate.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) November 29, 2014
Hmm... the plot thickens.