Why Max Scherzer would be perfect for the Chicago White Sox
Like a fine wine, free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer just gets better with age. At 37 years old, Scherzer is at the top of his game and would be a terrific addition to any staff, including the Chicago White Sox.
Scherzer’s terrific career in Washington came to an end last season when the Nationals sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers as they made a run at overtaking the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
A division title didn’t happen for the Dodgers but it wasn’t because Scherzer didn’t hold up his end of the deal. Scherzer went a remarkable 7-0 in 11 starts, posting a minuscule 1.98 ERA over 68.1 innings.
Those numbers were partially aided by being on a very good team. However, while Washington was falling out of playoff contention, Scherzer was dominant with a 2.76 ERA, striking out 147 in 111 innings of work. His .864 combined WHIP was good enough to lead the league.
The Chicago White Sox could use another stud starter at the top of the rotation.
Adding those types of credentials to the White Sox rotation would only strengthen what is already one of the top starting staff in baseball. The three-time Cy Young Award winner would give the White Sox a more than formidable trio of veteran starters joining Cy Young finalist Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito. Along with Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel, and projected starter Michael Kopech, that group would match up with any unit in baseball.
While that would be an outstanding lineup, one problem with it is that aside from Keuchel, there is no other left-handed starter. A move could be made to solve that issue but the team seems committed to the likes of Cease and Kopech being starters next year with lefty Garrett Crochet waiting in the wings.
Landing another starting pitcher became an area of need after the team did not make a qualifying offer to Carlos Rodon. While it is remotely possible Rodon could re-sign with the Sox, chances are that he will end up elsewhere after closing the year with a 13-5 mark and a fifth-place finish in Cy Young balloting.
What might make the White Sox appealing to Scherzer is that it is a young team with quality talent that is right there in the mix of teams capable of winning the World Series. At his age, the opportunities to win another title might not be many, thus the Sox offer as good a chance as any for him to get back to the Fall Classic.
However, while the thought of seeing Scherzer come to the southside is a good one, the reality is the competition for his services might be too much for the Sox to overcome. Big spenders like the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees will likely be in play as will teams such as the Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, and New York Mets to name a few.
On the subject of spending, it will probably be very costly for any team to get him to sign. Chances are that he won’t see the number of years on a deal like he did when he signed his first free-agent deal with Washington but he might be able to pitch into his 40’s. He could get a contract with an annual average value higher than the record deal signed by Gerrit Cole.
The Sox do have money to spend but while adding another front-line starting pitcher could be on general manager Rick Hahn’s “to-do” list, the priority seems to be on right field, second base, and backup catcher.
If there is a chance to add a talent like Scherzer, it couldn’t hurt the Sox to kick the tires on the idea and see what comes of it. While the odds of the Sox doing it are low, it costs nothing to at least look into it.