Scherzer, Seager get big-money deals ahead of CBA expiration

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • FILE - Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer walks off the field after being relieved in the fifth inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Atlanta. Eight-time All-Star Max Scherzer is nearing a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Nov. 29, because the agreement was still being worked on and would be subject to a successful physical.

    FILE - Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer walks off the field after being relieved in the fifth inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Atlanta. Eight-time All-Star Max Scherzer is nearing a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Nov. 29, because the agreement was still being worked on and would be subject to a successful physical. Associated Press

  • FILE - Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, left, tags out Atlanta Braves' Eddie Rosario on an attempted steal during the third inning in Game 5 of baseball's National League Championship Series, Oct. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a $325 million, 10-year deal with Seager, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, because the deal was pending a physical and wasn't finalized.

    FILE - Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, left, tags out Atlanta Braves' Eddie Rosario on an attempted steal during the third inning in Game 5 of baseball's National League Championship Series, Oct. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a $325 million, 10-year deal with Seager, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, because the deal was pending a physical and wasn't finalized. Associated Press

  • FILE - Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco celebrates after scoring on a single by Yandy Diaz the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, on Oct. 7, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Franco and the Rays have finalized an $182 million, 11-year contract that includes a club option for the 2033 season, the team announced Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File_

    FILE - Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco celebrates after scoring on a single by Yandy Diaz the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, on Oct. 7, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Franco and the Rays have finalized an $182 million, 11-year contract that includes a club option for the 2033 season, the team announced Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File_ Associated Press

  • FILE -San Francisco Giants stating pitcher Kevin Gausman works against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. The Toronto Blue Jays have reached an agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract, pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press late Sunday, Nov. 28,  2021.

    FILE -San Francisco Giants stating pitcher Kevin Gausman works against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. The Toronto Blue Jays have reached an agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract, pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press late Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Associated Press

  • Jose Berrios speaks during a baseball press conference announcing his seven-year extension with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Jose Berrios speaks during a baseball press conference announcing his seven-year extension with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Semien runs the bases on a home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman and potential shortstop Marcus Semien, according to a source familiar with the deal. That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night, Nov. 28, 2021 because the deal was not finalized. ESPN, which first reported the agreement, said it was worth $175 million.

    FILE - Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Semien runs the bases on a home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman and potential shortstop Marcus Semien, according to a source familiar with the deal. That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night, Nov. 28, 2021 because the deal was not finalized. ESPN, which first reported the agreement, said it was worth $175 million. Associated Press

  • FILE -Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton takes a lead at first base against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins and center fielder Byron Buxton have agreed to a seven-year, $100 million contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal, Sunday Nov. 28, 2021.

    FILE -Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton takes a lead at first base against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins and center fielder Byron Buxton have agreed to a seven-year, $100 million contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal, Sunday Nov. 28, 2021. Associated Press

  • FILE -Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Robbie Ray throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Seattle Mariners are finalizing a contract with American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 on the condition of anonymity because Ray still must undergo a physical and the deal has not been signed.

    FILE -Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Robbie Ray throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Seattle Mariners are finalizing a contract with American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 on the condition of anonymity because Ray still must undergo a physical and the deal has not been signed. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/29/2021 10:18 PM

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Max Scherzer agreed to a record-setting $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets and shortstop Corey Seager struck a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday as players and teams rushed to reach agreements before an expected lockout.

The pair are among among eight players who in recent days have agreed to contracts totalling $1.268 billion in guaranteed pay.

 

Both Scherzer and Seager are leaving the high-spending Los Angeles Dodgers for free agent riches elsewhere with teams that have aggressively added players before what likely will be Major League Baseball's first work stoppage since 1995.

The five-year collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday, and owners are expected to announce a signing freeze.

Scherzer's $43.33 million average salary under Monday's agreement is 20% higher than the previous mark, the $36 million Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging in his $324 million, nine-year contract with New York.

Scherzer would have the right to opt out after the 2023 season to become a free agent once again. Scherzer also receives a full no-trade provision, requiring his approval for any deals. The agreement also includes award bonuses.

A three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, the 37-year-old was 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA last season for the Washington Nationals and Dodgers, who acquired him on July 30. He struck out 236 and walked 36 in 179 1/3 innings, averaging 94.4 mph with his fastball in the final season of a $210 million, seven-year contract that included $105 million in deferred money payable from 2022-28.

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New York also has pending deals with center fielder Starling Marte ($78 million for four years), outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar, all contingent on successful physicals. The Mets could emerge as the top spender following their first full offseason under owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team in November 2020 from the Wilpon and Katz families in a deal that valued the Mets at a baseball-record $2.42 billion.

Seager, like Scherzer, is represented by Scott Boras, who in the 2019-20 offseason negotiated more than $1.2 billion in contracts. Both deals are pending physicals, and details on each were provided by a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was final.

Seager was the World Series MVP in 2020 and a two-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs in 95 games this year, when he broke a finger on his right hand after getting hit by a pitch May 15 and missed 2 1/2 months.

Seager's total dollars match Giancarlo Stanton for the fifth-highest in baseball behind Mike Trout ($426.5 million for 12 years), Mookie Betts ($365 million for 12 years), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340 million for 14 years) and Bryce Harper ($330 million for 13 years).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Texas committed $500 million over two days to middle infielders, following an agreement Sunday on a $175 million, seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien, also subject to a successful physical.

Other nine-figure deals in recent days:

- Wander Franco, a 20-year-old infielder with just 70 games in the major leagues, agreed to a $182 million, 11-year contract with Tampa Bay.

- Right-hander José Berríos, who could have become a free agent next offseason under the current rules, agreed with Toronto at $131 million over seven years.

- Free agent right-hander Kevin Gausman agreed to a $110 million, five-year contract with the Blue Jays, pending a successful physical.

- Free agent left-hander Robbie Ray, the AL Cy Young Award winner, agreed to a $115 million, five-year contract with Seattle, subject to a successful physical.

- Center fielder Byron Buxton, also one season shy of free agent eligibility, agreed to a $100 million, seven-year contract with Minnesota, a deal subject to a successful physical.

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