ESPN- Max Scherzer never anticipated being traded by the New York Mets. He said the sentiment in their clubhouse was that an underachieving team that had expected to contend for a World Series title this year would reload for 2024.
Scherzer said he instead found out the Mets were shifting their focus to 2025 and beyond -- which is after his contract expires. The three-time Cy Young Award winner waived his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Texas Rangers after conversations with New York general manager Billy Eppler and owner Steve Cohen following his final start for the Mets on Friday.
"[Eppler's] answer was that the team is now kind of shifting vision and that they're looking to compete now for 2025 and 2026, and that 2024, that it was not going to be a reload situation in New York, and that it was going to be more of a transition in 2024," Scherzer said when he was introduced by the Rangers on Tuesday, two days after the trade was announced.
Since that was different than what he had previously heard from Cohen, Scherzer called the owner, who he said then "basically articulated" the same point -- that the Mets were identifying a new vision and timeline.
I know people are taking this quote and hammering it with the requisite LOLMets, as is tradition. But I love it. Not because I want a drawn out rebuild or anything like that, which I don't think will happen considering the current roster of the Mets outside of the horrifying 3-5 slots of the starting rotation. I simply wanted Max Scherzer to waive his no trade clause and get off a Mets team that was going nowhere fast.
What's the easiest way to do that? Telling a super competitive 39-year-old maniac that you aren't going to go all-in with more than a quarter billion dollar payroll in the final year of his deal where he makes $43 million. I'm not sure what the advanced stats say, but if Max put up a 4 ERA this season, I don't think he was going to suddenly get better once he turned 40.
If you want your team to keep chasing a championship even though they appear to be seriously flawed, that's fine. Every Yankees fans I know tells me that is exactly what's happening across town. But I'd personally rather trade the guy that continuously gave leads back to the opposing team and came up short in almost all his big starts over the last year for a superfreak with the Acuna last name.
You can make a case that trading away Verlander was much more of a statement about where the Mets see themselves in 2024. But with a decent free agent pitching crop that includes Urias, Nola, Snell, Giolito, and the modern day evolutionary Babe Ruth, there is a way to build a solid rotation without leaning on two 40-year-old pitchers.
Oh yeah and I can't forget my guy Yoshi, who is about to be posted this offseason and is a very important piece of this puzzle my idiot baseball brain is putting together.
Plus you get back all these prospects for those two old pitchers and a handful of useful veterans that weren't signed after this season anyway.
Oh yeah and it cost a bunch of money, which luckily is the one thing the Mets have a shitload of.
So building around the old guys didn't work, now we'll see what happens when you build around the young kids with some guys in their prime already on the team along with any veterans
David Stearns the future Mets President of Baseball Operations wants to move any of those kids for.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go inhale some copium by finding then watching any highlights I can find of the teenagers and twenty-somethings the Mets just traded for as I convince myself everything will be alright in 2024, 2025, 2026, or any point in my likely already shortened lifetime. If you want some more takes on the Scherzer or Verlander deals, we discussed them on yesterday's emergency We Gotta Believe.