Mets ship Scherzer to Rangers after ace OKs trade

The Texas Rangers have made a significant move to strengthen their pitching rotation for a potential World Series bid. According to sources familiar with the situation and confirming multiple reports, the Rangers acquired star right-hander Max Scherzer from the New York Mets in a trade on Saturday.

The deal was initially subject to Scherzer waiving a no-trade clause. Despite expressing frustration over the Mets’ previous trade of closer David Robertson just a day before, Scherzer ultimately gave the green light to the trade, making his way to Texas. There, he will be joining the American League West-leading Rangers, who currently hold a strong record of 60-45, staying one game ahead of the Houston Astros.

In exchange for Max Scherzer, the New York Mets will receive Luisangel Acuna, a talented 21-year-old player who excels in the middle infield and center field positions. Acuna has been a standout performer for the Double-A Frisco team in the Rangers’ system, boasting an impressive .315 batting average with seven home runs, 51 RBIs, and an incredible 42 stolen bases in just 82 games. Notably, he is the younger brother of Ronald Acuna Jr., the renowned superstar of the Atlanta Braves.

As part of the trade agreement, Scherzer has decided to exercise his option to remain with the Rangers for the 2024 season. Under this arrangement, Texas will pay Scherzer $22.5 million, while the Mets will shoulder more than $35 million of the remaining contractual terms.

Following the Mets’ 11-6 defeat against the Washington Nationals on Saturday night, New York’s manager, Buck Showalter, refrained from delving into specific details about the deal, stating that it “hasn’t been done” yet.

Similarly, after the Texas Rangers’ 4-0 loss to the San Diego Padres, the Rangers’ manager, Bruce Bochy, was noncommittal about the trade’s status, explaining that he hadn’t received any information yet and couldn’t provide updates at that moment.

Despite having the highest-scoring offense in baseball, the Texas Rangers were keen on bolstering their pitching staff, especially after losing their high-profile free agent acquisition, Jacob deGrom, to season-ending Tommy John surgery in June. In a bold move, they acquired Max Scherzer, despite his significant annual salary of $43.3 million, which is the highest in Major League Baseball. Additionally, there’s a possibility that Scherzer might opt out of the final year of his contract after this season.

At 39 years old, Scherzer is a future Hall of Famer, but his performance in the 2023 season has seen some ups and downs by his own exceptional standards. He currently holds a 9-4 record with a 4.01 ERA, recording 121 strikeouts and 30 walks in 107⅔ innings pitched. However, he has allowed the most home runs in the National League with 23.

Scherzer joined the New York Mets before the 2022 season and performed exceptionally well, posting a remarkable 2.29 ERA in 145⅓ innings over 23 starts.

On the other hand, the Mets, who had a record-breaking payroll of over $350 million for this season and signed co-ace Justin Verlander, have struggled to find success. With a disappointing 49-55 record, they currently sit in fourth place in the NL East, a significant 18 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. The trade of David Robertson marked the beginning of their unloading process, and the move of Scherzer signifies their continued efforts to make changes. Sources suggest that more players are likely to be traded before the deadline.

The Texas Rangers are optimistic about their playoff prospects, aiming to field a strong rotation with the addition of Scherzer alongside Nathan Eovaldi. They also have Jon Gray, Dane Dunning, Martin Perez, and Andrew Heaney as viable options. Furthermore, in June, they acquired left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman and have been in talks with various teams to strengthen their bullpen further, including discussions involving Robertson, who was eventually traded to the Miami Marlins on Thursday night

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