Max Scherzer is headed west after a trade between the Texas Rangers and New York Mets. Scherzer has opted into his contract for the upcoming season as part of the deal, which will pay him more than $43 million.
However, the Rangers will only be responsible for $22.5 million of the overall cost, with the Mets covering the remainder. Shortstop Luisangel Acua, the 21-year-old younger brother of Ronald Acua Jr. of the Braves, gets acquired by the Mets in exchange. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, all of it is true.
The transaction strengthens the Rangers’ rotation, which, while successful, has been severely hampered by the season-ending injury to their star offseason acquisition, Jacob deGrom, and needs more depth.
It may be the beginning of a broader sell-off before the trade deadline on Tuesday, which would be bad news for the underperforming Mets.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner is halfway through a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets that he signed in November 2021. Obviously, he won’t play for the Mets for the remainder of the contract, but he will see it through with the Rangers.
The 39-year-old Scherzer has hurled 107 2/3 innings this season with a 4.01 ERA and a 4.03 K/BB ratio. He has surrendered 23 home runs in total throughout that time, which leads the NL.
Even though the future Hall of Famer fell short of expectations in 2023, his ERA was slightly lower than normal when league and home-ballpark factors were taken into account.
He has also experienced back and neck problems this season, missing a start in May due to neck spasms, and he received a 10-game suspension in April for using excessively sticky substances.
Recently, Scherzer expressed dissatisfaction with the Mets’ choice to establish themselves as sellers by dealing closer David Robertson to the Marlins.
He might decide to forego his complete no-trade protection and approve the move to Texas if it suggests that the Mets would essentially capitulate to their slim postseason chances right now.
The Rangers had a 60-44 record going into the slate on Saturday. The defending World Series champion Astros were only two games behind them while they remained in first position in the American League West.
Now that Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, and Martin Pérez are in the rotation, Scherzer will be in charge. Aroldis Chapman, a reliever, was already acquired by Texas from the Royals in a pre-deadline trade in late June.
Despite being only 5-foot-8, Luisangel Acua possesses above-average power potential and a quick bat. The problem is that he hasn’t used it to its full potential during games.
His career-low 49.1% ground-ball rate this season reflects his propensity for topping the ball and swinging at unfavorable pitches. Because of his aggressive style, Acua has neither a lean walk rate nor a fat strikeout rate, which bodes well for his future. Another is that despite his shortcomings, he has been a producer at the Double-A level who is above average.
Acua has the quickness and arm power to remain on the left side of the defense. Normally, we’d say that if he wants to stay at shortstop, he needs to keep honing the finer points of the game, but let’s face it: Francisco Lindor isn’t pursuing him to second or third base.