Rangers Acquire Max Scherzer in Trade with Mets

Rangers Max Scherzer
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers have made a blockbuster trade with the New York Mets to attain the services of Max Scherzer. A source informed MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand of the deal on Saturday evening. Scherzer has waived his no-trade clause, per Feinsand. The teams have not confirmed the deal. As part of the deal, the Mets will receive infield prospect Luisangel Acuña. Acuna is the Rangers’ No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline (No. 44 overall). He is also the younger brother of Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. Scherzer has exercised his $43.3 million player option for 2024, per source, and will be with the Rangers through next season. The Mets will pay $35 million of Scherzer’s salary through the end of 2024, while the Rangers will pay $22.5 million. That was the cost to acquire Luisangel Acuña in the deal.

Replacing One Mets Ace with Another

This is familiar territory for the Rangers. This past offseason, the Rangers were awarded the $185 million prize of former Met Jacob deGrom on a five-year contract in free agency. Unfortunately, the fanfare was cut short in June as deGrom underwent season-ending elbow surgery. The surgery was performed in order to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. deGrom will be out until the first two months of 2024 at the earliest, though likely longer. The acquisition of Scherzer is a move that will certainly be a good remedy for deGrom’s absence.

Unhappy in Queens

Scherzer made headlines after Friday’s game when he told reporters he wanted to “have a conversation with the front office” about the direction the Mets were taking. This came after the Mets’ trade of closer David Robertson to the Miami Marlins on Thursday for a pair of prospects.

This development followed Scherzer’s best start of the season on Friday night. He held the Washington Nationals to one run over seven innings with seven strikeouts, but the likely Hall of Famer has been uneven for most of the year, posting a 4.01 ERA with 121 strikeouts over 107 2/3 innings. He has been especially susceptible to the long ball, allowing a career-high 1.9 home runs per nine innings.

What Scherzer Brings to Arlington

This deal comes 13 years this month after the Rangers traded for lefty Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners during their run to their first AL pennant. The trade for Scherzer is the highest-profile deadline move the Rangers have made since then. In Scherzer, the Rangers are acquiring one of the greatest pitchers in major league history. He is a famously fierce competitor with extensive October experience. He owns a 3.58 ERA with 164 strikeouts over 133 1/3 innings in the postseason, including posting a 2.40 ERA in the 2019 postseason when he helped lead the Nationals to a World Series title.

The eight-time All-Star has thrown two no-hitters. He also ranks 12th on the all-time strikeout list with 3,314 punchouts over his 16-year career. He is one of six players to win Cy Young awards in both leagues. Those came with the Detroit Tigers in 2013 and the Nationals in 2016 and ’17. Scherzer’s pitching coach for both of those Cy Young seasons in Washington was current Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.

 

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Nate Miller

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