Rangers acquire Scherzer from Mets in blockbuster

The Texas Rangers have acquired three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer in a blockbuster trade with the New York Mets, an all-in move for the surprise AL West leaders. Both teams announced the deal Sunday after news of the agreement broke Saturday evening.



July 31, 2023 - 2:44 PM

Max Scherzer of the New York Mets pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, June 24, 2023, in Philadelphia. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/TNS)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The surprising Texas Rangers are going all-in with Max Scherzer just when they need a big boost the most.

The AL West leaders acquired the three-time Cy Young Award winner from the New York Mets in a blockbuster trade announced Sunday, right about the time Texas placed ace Nathan Eovaldi on the 15-day injured list with a strained right forearm.

News of the agreement broke Saturday night while the Rangers were losing for the sixth time in eight games, trimming their lead over second-place Houston to one game.

Texas didn’t stop there, either. The team also landed left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery, right-handed reliever Chris Stratton and international bonus pool money from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday for left-hander John King, minor league infielder Tommy Saggese and minor league right-hander T.K. Roby.

Texas manager Bruce Bochy said Scherzer will make his Rangers debut Thursday when he starts at home against the Chicago White Sox.

“It’s great. We’re pumped about it. We’re getting an experienced guy with a tremendous resume,” Bochy said before the Rangers tried to avoid a sweep in San Diego.

Bochy said the message to his players before Tuesday’s trade deadline is: “Hey, we mean business. We’re here to win. And it’s always a great message when a team does something like this.”

Rangers general manager Chris Young, a former big league pitcher, was excited as well.

“Obviously, Max’s pedigree is a future Hall of Fame pitcher and the winner that he is is a perfect fit for what we need right now,” Young said. “You can never have enough starting pitching and to add someone of Max’s caliber is a great addition to our club. We landed the player we feel like is going to help us get where we want to go this year.”

Texas has emerged from six consecutive losing seasons to lead the AL West all but one day in Bochy’s first season in charge. Bochy won three World Series championships from 2010-14 as manager of the San Francisco Giants.

While hoping his absence won’t go beyond 15 days, Eovaldi, an All-Star this season who won a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, was happy to hear of the acquisition of Scherzer.

“Adding him not only to this rotation for this year but also for next year, is a huge pickup,” Eovaldi said. “He brings that experience. He’s accomplished everything. What he’s going to be able to do for the guys, the energy, and you see how he goes out there and competes on the mound, and then just that extra experience for the postseason as well.

“We’ve got more guys that have experienced it and been through it, and the more guys you have with everything that he’s been able to accomplish, the better it is for the whole rotation and the team itself,” Eovaldi added.

Eovaldi joins two other Rangers All-Stars on the IL, catcher Jonah Heim and shortstop Corey Seager.

The trade netted the Mets one of Texas’ top prospects in infielder Luisangel Acuña, the younger brother of Atlanta star Ronald Acuña Jr. New York said he will be optioned to Double-A Binghamton.