Did The Texas Rangers Take Too Big of a Risk with Max Scherzer Trade?

By: Anthony Miller

The Texas Rangers made a bold move for a starting pitcher as they look to make a massive push for the postseason.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Saturday the New York Mets have traded starting pitcher Max Scherzer and cash considerations to the Texas Rangers in exchange for shortstop Luisangel Acuna. Part of the deal is Scherzer opted into his 2024 player option worth more than $43 million. The Rangers are only going to cover $22.5 million of it with the Mets picking up the rest. Scherzer had a no-trade clause in his contract but waived it to play for Texas.

Scherzer has a proven resume as he has won three Cy Young awards since joining the league in 2008. He’s been to the All-Star game eight times and won the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals. It’s been an up-and-down season for the 39-year-old pitcher recording a 9-4 record for the Mets, but his 4.01 ERA is the worst he has posted since 2011.

Immediate Impact of Max Scherzer

Photo via Corey Sipkin/NY Post

Ever since the loss of Jacob deGrom to injury, the Rangers have been looking to their starting pitching for players to step up. While it hasn’t been all bad, the offense of Texas has carried them through multiple games. It’s not a disaster with their starting pitching, but when the postseason rolls around for the Rangers, there wasn’t that ace they can turn to. Scherzer could be that guy.

He’s a proven winner who knows what it takes to win a World Series and pull off victories in the biggest games. Despite his unusual off-season, he’s still found ways to win games and not put his teams out of position to win. Even at 39 years old he still plays at a high level and can still be considered one of the top pitchers in MLB.

The flip side is with his age, there is noticeably a difference in his performance as his velocity has slowed down and his strikeout rate also has decreased by three percent. Fans should be prepared to understand that he won’t be the same pitcher as he was five years ago. The change of scenery could be what he needs to get back on track, but he won’t be 100 percent where he has been in the past.

Did They Give Up Too Much Letting Go of Luisangel Acuna?

Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images

The Rangers were high on Luisangel Acuna as he was considered one of their top prospects ranking third for Texas. What helped his name is that he is the younger brother of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. In 2018, Luisangel Acuna signed with the Rangers and has worked his way up to playing for the team’s Double-A team Frisco RoughRiders this season. He accumulated a batting average of .315 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs while adding 42 stolen bases this season in Double-A.

He was projected to be playing in the majors in 2024, but that could change with the Mets where they might either move him up sooner or hold off for next season. Acuna could be a great player as he has been hitting well and clearly has great speed to earn extra bases stealing or hitting doubles. It appears he could end up being a good player, but not soon enough to know if he will play at the level of his brother.

Texas has been able to build a strong farm system and letting Acuna go is a risk especially since they are trading for a pitcher who is on the back end of his career. It also appears though the Rangers are going all in on building a championship team either this season or next season. Since 2021, they have signed Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jacob deGrom. Clearly, Texas is willing to let go of young players with high potential to bring in guys who can help them win now. Fans will see in the next two to three seasons whether this ended up being a good trade for Texas or this was the move that prevented them from taking the leap for a title.

Featured Image via Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top