The Seattle Mariners need an ace. Every team that wins a World Series has an ace. The Dodgers had Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw last year. The Nationals had Max Scherzer and Stephen Strausburg in 2019. The Red Sox had Chris Sale in 2018. The Astros had Justin Verlander in 2017. If the Mariners want to win a World Series they need an ace starting pitcher.
The Mariners starting pitchers are far from being designated as an ace. Chris Flexen was really solid all year but he isn’t an ace. He may have had a 3 WAR season but the Mariners need more from their frontline starter. Logan Gilbert had a good year as a rookie, however, is probably only a #2 starter in the future. Marco Gonzales isn’t an ace, he doesn’t have the stuff to overpower hitters even though he can be really good.
The Mariners need to go add more than what they already have here, and the answer is to sign Max Scherzer.
Max Scherzer is one of the most dominant starting pitchers in baseball for the past decade. Scherzer is coming off of a 5.3 WAR season. He is simply one of the most dominant, intense, and fiery players in Major League Baseball. He is also a free agent at the age of 37. Most would say he is too old for the Mariners to offer him a long-term contract and they might be right, but Scherzer is a different animal.
Max Scherzer has already won a World Series with the Nationals and is probably going to be looking for two things in free agency. #1 a place where he can make a lot of money. #2 a place where he can win a World Series again. The Mariners can sell Scherzer on these two things. They can start by offering at least $30 million a year in salary. That is the bare minimum for Scherzer.
Seattle can also sell him on the fact that the team won 90 games, were close to the playoffs, and have young talent on the way. If the Mariners have Max Scherzer next year in their rotation, they would have the best starting pitcher in the division. It would also give them a real shot to compete with the Astros for the division title.
The Mariners should offer Max Scherzer a 3-year contract for $100 million. That would pay him a little over $33 million a year. A 3-year deal gives Scherzer stability as his career draws to an end, most likely, and it pays him very well. The Mariners should offer anywhere up to $120 million dollars for 3 years because he would help them break the playoff drought and potentially win a World Series.
Even if at age 40 Max Scherzer is not worth $30 plus million for that season, it will still be worth it to have a real legitimate shot to win the World Series. No amount of money that Scherzer asks for is too much for the Mariners to balk at and they should bring him in as their ace to win the first World Series in Mariners history.
If Max Scherzer can bring a World Series trophy back to Seattle then any amount of money he earns will be absolutely worth it. Nothing would be worth more than Max Scherzer hoisting the commissioner’s trophy in a Seattle Mariners jersey.