MLB Rangers Trade Boosts Pitching: Scherzer Joins from Mets

A significant announcement hit the world of Major League Baseball on Sunday: The New York Mets have traded their star pitcher, the eight-time All-Star Max Scherzer, to the Texas Rangers. This monumental trade has had immediate effects on MLB Lines, with the Rangers now being earmarked as potential frontrunners. 

Scherzer, who recently celebrated his 39th birthday, has chosen not to exercise his opt-out clause following the conclusion of this season. Instead, he has decided to remain committed to the Rangers till the end of 2024. The deal, in return, sees the Mets receive highly-touted shortstop Luisangel Acuña and an estimated $36 million. This financial component covers Scherzer’s outstanding salary for 2023 and a significant part of his 2024 pay, given his decision to opt in. 

MLB Player Max Scherzer

Scherzer’s Reunion with Coach Maddux and Potential Performance Resurgence

MLB Player Max ScherzerHaving secured a three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets in November 2021, Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young award recipient, chalked up an ERA of 4.01 and made 121 strikeouts in his 19starts for the Mets this season. Despite these numbers suggesting that Scherzer hasn’t quite been at his Cy Young-winning best, a pivotal factor to consider is his reunion with pitching coach Mike Maddux at the Rangers.

Maddux had previously coached Scherzer during his award-winning seasons at the Nationals, so this reunion could well spark a resurgence in his performance. Known for his fierce competitive spirit, Scherzer is expected to rise to the occasion, especially given the Rangers’ current contention status.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ part of the deal is also fascinating. In anticipation of a ground-breaking offer for their star pitchers, the Mets have kept their options open. Acquiring Acuña, a 21-year-old prodigy who is rated as a top-100 prospect, offers them immense potential. This young talent, the sibling of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. and son of former Mets’ minor-leaguer Ronald Acuña Sr., showcases promising athleticism and quick hands akin to his older brother. Furthermore, experts see Acuña as an above-average major league prospect who, with some refinement of his aggressive playstyle, could become a key asset for the Mets in the future.

What does this trade mean for the MLB Mets?

Worse MLB Odds, that’s for sure. Over the past week, the Mets have shown a strategic preference for acquiring position players and are not seemingly desperate for immediate assistance to their roster. The implications of this strategy on the franchise’s direction, however, remain uncertain without a deeper understanding of the trade’s return and the money exchanged. 

Despite this uncertainty, one thing is clear – the Mets’ owner Steve Cohen isn’t hesitant to invest heavily in talent for creating a sustainable pipeline of top-tier players. Though Scherzer’s reduced fastball velocity and overall performance might raise eyebrows, the MLB Mets could still harness the market’s potential with younger, premium starting pitchers like Shohei Ohtani, Julio Urías, or potentially Yoshinobu Yamamoto, should he be posted from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

Yes, age has indeed started to leave its mark on Scherzer’s performance, but he still retains considerable skill. With a top-15 strikeout rate among qualified pitchers and above-average ratings across several metrics, Scherzer remains a formidable force in the league. He may no longer be the Scherzer of yesteryears, but even at 39, Max Scherzer is more than capable of standing his ground amongst the league’s top players.

Scherzer’s journey has seen him wear several team jerseys. Traded to the Dodgers from the Nationals in July 2021, he made 19 starts for Washington and 11 for Los Angeles that season. Before these stints, he had spent productive years with the Diamondbacks and Tigers. With a career boasting an ERA of 3.15, 3,314 strikeouts, and 440 starts, Scherzer’s addition undeniably brings a massive boost to the Rangers’ pitching lineup.