Max Scherzer Should Be Opening Day Starter

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter sounded non-committal over who his 2023 Opening Day starter would be. You can certainly understand why Showalter was not ready to make a decision just yet.

First and foremost, last season, it seemed obvious Jacob deGrom was going to be the Opening Day starter. That was until he was injured. Then, it was going to be Max Scherzer.

Well, Scherzer got hurt too. This all led to the very improbable choice of Tylor Megill. Fortunately for the Mets, Megill was up for the task, and we saw he was really up for the task to be a top of the rotation starter as he was the first pitcher in the Mets co-no.

Things are different in 2023. deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers, and he was replaced in the rotation by Justin Verlander. Suddenly, Scherzer and Verlander were again atop the rotation like they were with the Detroit Tigers, a team who won an American League pennant.

Both Scherzer and Verlander would lay claim to the Opening Day starter with just about any team. However, with the Mets, it is only going to be one of them who gets the nod. While Showalter may not want to commit, his choice should be Scherzer.

Scherzer came to the Mets last season making him the first real big free agent signed by the team. While you could argue it was the Francisco Lindor trade and extension, it was Scherzer who really the biggest sign things have changed.

This was when Steve Cohen first got to show the baseball world just how much more money he has to spend, and in many ways, the lengths he would go to sign players to take this Mets team to a new level. Interestingly enough, Scherzer’s contract served as a model for Verlander’s, and as it turns out, it was one of the reasons Verlander wanted to come to the Mets after the Houston Astros were alright with him departing in free agency.

Scherzer changed what the Mets were and could be. Cohen needed that first marquee free agent, and Scherzer was it. For that alone, he deserves the Opening Day nod.