After this past weekend’s series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the call to sell at the trade deadline continues to grow for the New York Mets. Not only did they lose two out of three, but they did it in embarrassing fashion. Struggling on offense, Justin Verlander walking six batters on Friday night, and once again, just committing bad errors. Especially with their baserunning and defense. Simply not playing good fundamental baseball. It was a series the Mets should’ve at least gotten two against a very good Dodgers team, but they let it get away from them. The lone bright spots of this series were on the mound with Kodai Senga who was masterful on Saturday night, and a player involved in trade rumors, Max Scherzer.
most games with 20+ swings & misses, since start of 2018:
Gerrit Cole: 44
Max Scherzer: 43
Jacob deGrom: 37
Luis Castillo: 25 pic.twitter.com/LKmzsYrbhJ
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 16, 2023
The New York Mets Should Not Trade Max Scherzer
Scherzer has seen his fair share of criticism from Mets fans and the New York media. Many look at Scherzer as a massive disappointment for this season and his Mets run as a whole. It stems from his struggles against the Atlanta Braves in September of last year, followed by struggling in the playoffs at home against the San Diego Padres. It’s understandable, but Scherzer still had a strong season in 2022. This year, however, Scherzer got off to a bad start through his first five outings, which included a suspension for sticky substances. Since then, Scherzer has pitched very well in his last 12 outings. While he might be less dominant than before, he still has looked more like the Max Scherzer we know than the one in April. However, with the Mets far back of a playoff spot, they are inching closer to selling. Scherzer is a name being brought up as a possible trade candidate. He also can opt-out at the end of the season. However, it might not be wise to give him away to a contender just yet.
Max Scherzer Should Be in the Mets 2024 Plans
Despite the Mets’ struggles, owner Steve Cohen still wants to win. 2024 still has to be a win-it-or-bust year. After all, it is going to be year four of Cohen’s five-year plan. When it comes to Scherzer, yes, he’ll be another year older, but his recent performances should give the Mets optimism. Scherzer has a 3.50 ERA during this stretch he’s currently on. His latest outing on Sunday saw him go 7 innings and strike out 6 in a crucial game the Mets had to get. The team won 2-1 in extra innings. Scherzer has struck out 87 hitters in these last 12 starts. The only clunkers were against the Braves, the New York Yankees, and the Padres. While you can’t take away those starts, they were bad and they happened, Scherzer’s ERA is 1.86 in the other nine outings. Which also includes throwing six innings or more in eight of those games. Bad days will happen in a stretch like that. It’s baseball. One of the common criticisms Scherzer gets thrown his way since joining New York is that he struggles against good teams. However, those outings include the Philadelphia Phillies twice, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Dodgers. Quality teams that are currently contenders in a playoff race or at the top of their divisions. Despite the criticisms, his bad April seems to be behind him for the most part, which is a good sign.
The Mets 2024 Starting Rotation
There is the chance Scherzer opts out, but the Mets should hope he doesn’t and if he does, they should try to bring him back. The reason is the starting rotation. The Mets don’t have anybody on the inside who can step in for Scherzer at the moment. Especially with the regressions of David Peterson and Tylor Megill this season. Carlos Carrasco, another struggling pitcher, is a free agent. Looking at the 2024 free agent class, you can forget about Marcus Stroman returning to the Mets because that bridge is very much burned. Then, of course, there’s Shohei Ohtani but a lot of teams will be after him. Every team in baseball should be looking to sign him. Other names include Clayton Kershaw (who is probably a Dodger for life at this point even if he hits the market), Lance Lynn who is struggling with the Chicago White Sox, Hyun-Jin Ryu who is rehabbing off Tommy John surgery, Martin Perez who is struggling, Zach Greinke who is struggling and could retire after the season, and Julio Urias who is having a down year right now. So, who could theatrically replace Scherzer if he is traded or leaves in free agency? Aside from Ohtani, the options are slim. 2024 should see Max Scherzer on the Mets roster, but time will tell.
Main photo credits:
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports