What is the greatest free agent signing in New York Mets history? The Mike Piazza deal, the Carlos Beltran contract, and a couple of others worked out well. Neither of them, or many other of the best free agent deals in Mets history, worked out and led to a championship. The ultimate goal of all players, it’s a major reason why the Max Scherzer signing has the potential to become the greatest in franchise history.
Adding Scherzer to the Mets already brought a different sense of excitement to the organization in a similar way the Piazza trade did back in 1998. But because Piazza first joined the Mets because he was traded to New York, it’s a little different. The 1986 championship was also fresher in everyone’s minds.
After so many underwhelming free agent deals under the Wilpon regime, the Scherzer signing came as a stunning addition. Ask most fans, they still might not believe it. The results, through the early part of his Mets tenure, speak for itself. The team is good. Scherzer is a big reason why.
A World Series championship makes Max Scherzer the best Mets free agent signing
Free agency wasn’t a thing in Major League Baseball until the mid-1970s and it wasn’t something the Mets participated in extensively until the 1990s. The 1986 team, for instance, was built through draft picks and trades.
Baseball is much different these days. The dollars spent on players are extraordinarily high in comparison. Free agency just works differently and the Mets have taken advantage of it plenty with some superb deals.
No free agent frenzy may be anywhere close to what the Mets did prior to this current campaign. Along with Scherzer, the club gave big deals to Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar. The foursome has all played well this year. The Scherzer contract, at the highest AAV in MLB history, reigns supreme as the most important.
For as short of a deal as it may become—with Scherzer’s ability to opt-out before the three years are over—this may still go down as the best in franchise history for one simple reason: it could lead to a championship.
Whether it’s 2022, 2023, or 2024 when it happens, the Scherzer deal is already among the best in franchise history. It wasn’t a steal like some other contracts nor will it turn out to be a dynasty-builder. The short-term, high-valued deal is meant to push the Mets to the top of Major League Baseball. A championship ending is the purpose of the deal. If it happens, place the Scherzer signing at number one.