Max Scherzer's megadeal changes the narrative for the New York Mets

An offseason in which ardent New York Mets fans had been injected with rare optimism was followed by a 2021 season that flamed out in epic fashion and was riddled by chaos throughout. The ensuing weeks provided a snapshot of the fallout -- the game's brightest minds rejecting overtures to lead the Mets' baseball operations department; some of the most attractive free agents eschewing their larger offers to play elsewhere; the Mets' fervent owner tweeting angrily through it, while other executives and agents laughed along. By Thanksgiving, the Mets were a franchise in disarray.

On Monday morning, the Mets conquered all of that turmoil in the most effective, efficient way possible -- by throwing a ridiculous amount of money at it.

Max Scherzer -- the best pitcher available this offseason and quite possibly the best pitcher of this generation -- agreed to join the Mets on a three-year, $130 million contract, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. It gives him an average annual value of $43.3 million, more than 20% higher than the previous record set by Gerrit Cole's contract with the New York Yankees. It's a staggering number for a man who just completed his age-36 season and is approaching 3,000 career innings. But it's what needed to be done.

Steve Cohen's checkbook is open.