FLUSHING, Queens -- The Texas Rangers acquired star right-hander Max Scherzer from the New York Mets in a trade Saturday, fortifying their rotation for a World Series run as the dismantling of the disappointing Mets continues, sources told ESPN.
While a tentative deal was struck earlier in the day, it was contingent on Scherzer waiving a no-trade clause. One day after expressing frustration over the Mets' trade of closer David Robertson, Scherzer approved the deal to Texas, where he'll join the AL West-leading Rangers, who at 60-44 are two games ahead of the Houston Astros.
The Rangers have the highest-scoring offense in baseball but went into trade-deadline season hoping to add to their pitching after their highest-profile free agent addition, Jacob deGrom, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June. They dealt for Scherzer despite his Major League Baseball-high annual salary of $43.3 million -- and the potential for him to opt out of the final year of his contract following this season.
In the 39-year-old Scherzer, the Rangers get a future Hall of Famer whose 2023 season has been up-and-down by his own high standards. He is 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA, has struck out 121 and walked 30 in 107.2 innings, and has allowed a National League-high 23 home runs.
The Mets are expected to send cash along with Scherzer and would receive prospects from the Rangers, who have one of MLB's best farm systems, according to sources.
Scherzer joined New York before the 2022 season and, when he was on the mound, thrived, with a 2.29 ERA in 145.1 innings over 23 starts. The Mets, who signed co-ace Justin Verlander over the winter, came into the season with an MLB-record payroll of more than $350 million and eyed their first championship since 1986.
They never found their footing, and at 49-54, they are in fourth place in the NL East and 17 games behind first-place Atlanta. The trade of Robertson started their sale, the trade of Scherzer continues it and before the 6 p.m. ET deadline Aug. 1, they're expected to move even more players, sources said.
Texas, meanwhile, hopes to trot out a playoff rotation headlined by with Scherzer and Nathan Eovaldi, with Jon Gray, Dane Dunning, Martin Perez and Andrew Heaney also options. In June, they traded for left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman, and they've been in discussions with multiple teams about more bullpen arms -- including Robertson, who eventually was dealt to Miami on Thursday night.
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News