Mets Marlins
Miami Marlins left fielder Bryan De La Cruz, right, high-fives Jean Segura (9) after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Sunday, April 9, 2023, in New York. The Marlins won 7-2. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Verlander and Scherzer Adjusting to New Homes

On paper, the New York Mets looked to be one of the favorites to win it all this year. Going into the season, the team total salary was roughly 384 million dollars, well over the tax threshold. The owner was committed to buying a team rather than building up from the farm system.

The direction they were going in wasn’t working, leading them to trade both pitchers Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros and Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers.

Scherzer and Verlander, once teammates, are now on division rival teams competing against each other in hopes to make a deep playoff run.

Justin Verlander Back to the Astros

Justin Verlander had one of his best seasons with the Astros last year. At the age of 39 and coming back from Tommy John surgery, it was uncertain how he would perform. But Verlander was terrific, winning his third Cy Young award and second world series.

Verlander was given a no trade clause in his two year contract but waived that to get out of New York and back with his old team. During his press conference, Verlander was as surprised as anyone about the direction the team took after high expectations.

The Astros sent over top prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford in the deal to the Mets. Verlander is expected to make his first start for the Astros this Saturday in New York.

Scherzer to His New Team in Texas

Scherzer was in the middle of his second year of his three year 130 million dollar contract. Another veteran, the right hander was dealt to the other team in Texas in the Rangers. Scherzer was very open about the direction the Mets team was moving towards going forward.

The team made clear to him that they were not expecting to be competitive for the 2024 season and are looking towards 2025-2026, after his deal is over.

Scherzer went to the team not only because of the size of the contract, but also to be a part of a winning culture. Being closer to the end of his career, he decided that he needed to be on a team with playoff aspects sooner rather than later.

Scherzer made his first start for Texas on Thursday going six innings and giving up three runs.

Other Trades

Verlander and Scherzer weren’t the only ones to leave the Mets. The first sign of a Mets fire sale was when their closer David Robertson was traded to the Marlins. Verlander was clearly discouraged when they traded away their closer prompting them to have conversations about his contract.

We also saw Eduardo Escobar get traded to the Angels back in June, as well as Tommy Pham to the Diamondbacks at the deadline.

The Mets are starting to rebuild and only time will tell if and when these trades will pay off.

 

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