NEW YORK -- Mets pitcher Max Scherzer was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday following his ejection for having a foreign substance on his hand during a game.

Scherzer initially appealed the suspension but dropped his appeal hours later. In exchange, his fine was reduced from $10,000 to $5,000, according to a person familiar with negotiations between MLB and the players' union. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement hadn't been announced.

Scherzer said shortly before New York's game at San Francisco that the Mets urged him to accept the suspension, adding that it was the best move for the team.

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"I went through the appeal process. Looked at what that appeal process was going to look like. I thought I was going to get in front of a neutral arbitrator, but I wasn't. It was going to be through MLB. Given that process I wasn't going to come out on top," Scherzer said. "I'm going to follow what the Mets wanted me to do and that was to accept the suspension and come to a settlement."

The appeal and suspension were imposed by Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations.

Scherzer became the third pitcher suspended since the crackdown on sticky substances started in June 2021. Seattle's Héctor Santiago was penalized that June 28 and Arizona's Caleb Smith that Aug. 24, both receiving 10-game penalties.

All three inspections that led to suspensions involved umpire Phil Cuzzi.

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