Former Tigers Ace Max Scherzer, veteran pitcher of the New York Mets, is heading to the Texas Rangers, as reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan. In return, the Mets are gaining Luisangel Acuña, younger brother of Ronald Acuña Jr., and one of the most exciting prospects in the Rangers' ranks.
A Surprising Trade
Scherzer's name popping up in trade discussions caught many off guard, particularly after Martino's report on Friday. In the ongoing speculations about possible moves involving Verlander and Scherzer, it was suggested that Scherzer seemed the less likely candidate to be transferred. The teams that had been monitoring him didn't seem overly impressed with his current form.
However, the tides appear to have changed. Scherzer now seems destined to join the ranks of the Texas Rangers, one of the American League's standout teams. The Rangers are leading the pack in the highly competitive AL West division and boast the fourth-best record in the entirety of Major League Baseball.
The 39-year-old pitcher is not only a three-time Cy Young Award winner but also has a $43.3 million salary for 2023 and a $43.3 million player option for 2024, as per Spotrac. According to Ken Rosenthal, Scherzer plans to opt into his deal and stay with the Rangers through the next season.
Despite this significant financial commitment, The Mets will cover $35M-plus to the Rangers to ease the burden of Scherzer's contract.
Prospect Luisangel Acuña: A Closer Look
Luisangel Acuña, the 21-year-old prospect heading to the Mets, is ranked as the Rangers' No. 3 prospect by MLB.com. The younger brother of the Atlanta Braves' superstar outfielder, Ronald Acuña Jr., Luisangel is a promising player whose potential was attractive enough for the Mets to part ways with a seasoned pro like Scherzer.
Scherzer's tenure in New York has been marked by exceptional performances, despite a second season that hasn't lived up to his high standards. He holds a 9-4 record in 19 games with a 4.01 ERA, the highest mark of his career since 2011. Nevertheless, his vast experience and proven track record make him a valuable addition to any team, particularly one poised for a postseason run like the Rangers.
What the Trade Means for Both Teams
The Mets, after a disappointing first half of the season, seem open to significant roster changes. Meanwhile, the Rangers, already top contenders in the American League, are poised to further strengthen their position with the acquisition of Scherzer.
The deal also marks the second time the Rangers have secured a prominent Mets' pitcher. They signed Jacob DeGrom to a significant contract in the previous offseason, and with him undergoing Tommy John surgery, Scherzer fills an immediate gap in the rotation.