Max Scherzer of the Mets reacts in the dugout during...

Max Scherzer of the Mets reacts in the dugout during the fourth inning after he was removed from a game against the Yankees at Citi Field on June 13. Credit: Jim McIsaac

On Friday night, Max Scherzer wanted answers from the front office about the direction of the Mets. On Saturday, he got them.

Less than 24 hours after the future Hall of Famer said “you have to understand what they see, what they’re going to do” in reacting to the deal that sent closer David Robertson to the Miami Marlins, the Mets reached an agreement to trade Scherzer to the Texas Rangers.

The teams made the trade official on Sunday afternoon. 

The trade could not be completed without him waiving the no-trade clause in the three-year, $130 million contract he signed before the 2022 season. In order for him to do that, all parties needed to negotiate a suitable financial arrangement regarding the approximately $15 million he is owed for the remainder of this season and the $43.3 million he would receive in 2024 if he exercised his player option.

Scherzer exercised the 2024 option and the clubs struck a deal on the finances as Mets starter Carlos Carrasco was giving up eight runs in 2 1⁄3 innings in an 11-6 loss to the Nationals before 30,858 at Citi Field.

According to a source, the Rangers will pay $22.5 million of his remaining salary, with the Mets picking up the rest. Major League Baseball still needs to approve the details for the trade to go through. This likely was why, when manager Buck Showalter was asked about the deal, he replied, “It hasn’t been done.”

However, Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo got to say goodbye to Scherzer and the righthander wasn’t in the clubhouse after the game.

“We all know where those things usually end up, one way or another,” Showalter said of finalizing the trade. “Sometimes they don’t go that way.”

The Mets are receiving Texas prospect Luisangel Acuna, the younger brother of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. Acuna, an infielder, was not in the lineup for Double-A Frisco on Saturday. He is ranked No. 44 on MLB’s top 100 prospects (the third-highest Rangers prospect).

“Honestly, I’m shocked,” Pete Alonso said. “ I didn’t see Max around the clubhouse and you hear and I’m like, ‘There’s no way.’ Then I didn’t see him and I’m like, ‘Oh, man, this is legit.’ ”

The Rangers and Mets already were engaged in trade talk before Scherzer’s Friday remarks — and not because of them — according to an SNY report.

The Scherzer deal has the players anticipating more departures before Tuesday’s trade deadline. “That’s a natural inclination for sure,” Alonso said. “ If the guy with a no-trade trade clause can get traded, anyone can.”

“From what I’ve seen — I mean with the move that they just made? — then it wouldn’t shock me if there’s more [departures],” Lindor said. “It’s disappointing.”

That Scherzer could have stayed with the Mets through 2024 and didn’t could mean major changes.

“I can’t really speculate as to next year right now, but as far as this year goes, we’re getting rid of some guys,” Nimmo said.

Scherzer battled injuries in his first season with the Mets but finished their 101-win season with an 11-5 record and a 2.29 ERA in 145 1⁄3 innings in 23 starts. His performance in 2023 has been inconsistent and unspectacular, although there have been glimpses of the Scherzer all expected.

After holding Washington to one run in seven innings in Friday night’s 5-1 victory, he is 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate is down and the 1.9 home runs per nine innings is the highest of his career.

Mets owner Steve Cohen held a July 5 news conference at Citi Field in which he said that if the Mets were to sell, he would be willing to pay out contracts of traded players for better prospects. “I already consider that money spent,” he said. “If I can find ways in that unfortunate circumstance to improve our farm system and that’s the path we take, I’m willing to do it.”

The Mets declared they would be sellers before Tuesday’s trade deadline by sending Robertson to Miami for two young prospects after Thursday’s game. Though the move didn’t land well in the clubhouse, none of the Mets could dispute that their poor play had put them in that situation. After Saturday’s loss, they are 49-55 and seven games off the pace for the third NL wild card with five teams to leapfrog.

Scherzer also was part of a deadline deal in 2021, his final season with the Nationals. He nixed a trade before approving one to the Dodgers. But he called the situation different this year because, he said, “I’m not going to be a free agent.” But after hearing from the front office, he now is on the move.

The Mets trailed 8-1 on Saturday night. Tommy Pham homered in the fourth and Lindor hit a two-run shot in the fifth, his 20th of the season, to make it 8-4. Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos hit back-to-back homers to start the ninth.

 With David Lennon





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