Max Scherzer is coming to the Rangers.
So far, Rangers general manager Chris Young has addressed the pitiful bullpen by acquiring Adolis Chapman from Kansas City.
Now, he addressed the fading rotation by acquiring Max Scherzer from the New York Mets.
This is an interesting trade. What are they getting? Sure, Scherzer has won three Cy Young Awards. But he is not winning that award a fourth time this season.
The sixteen-year veteran righthander turned thirty-nine on Thursday. He’s a future Hall of Famer who’s earning $45 million this year and next year, who is leading all of major league baseball in home runs allowed, but who is carrying around the second-worst ERA of his career, right now sitting at 4.01.
In his last five starts, he’s given up more than four runs in three of those games.
Even still, he walks into the Rangers rotation at least the third best starter.
Scherzer, who has a brown left eye and blue right eye, has a reputation for being a no-nonsense, tough as nails competitor who brings everyone else’s performance up with him. But he was part of a Mets team that shattered all sorts of records for highest salary, yet never got anything going, languishing in fourth place.
To say Scherzer was part of that disappointment would be accurate. After posting a 2.29 ERA for the Mets in 2022, and a 2.46 overall in 2021, he hasn’t been nearly as dominating in 2023.
Maybe a change of scenery and being back in a playoff race will kickstart him. When he was traded to the Dodgers at in the exact same scenario at the trade deadline of 2021, he went 7-0 in eleven starts for LA. But that Scherzer came to the Dodgers already dominating. This Max Scherzer comes to the Rangers in a very unfamiliar role, for him, as just a run-of-the-mill starter.
But run-of-the-mill is an upgrade right now.
The ominous absence of Nathan Eovaldi is cause for worry, even if the Rangers claim he is just being rested. He is not starting today against the Padres in a game they really need to win to avoid being swept. This is not a rest as much as it is a disappearance into the Witness Protection Program.
With only Jon Gray and Dane Dunning assured in the rotation, Max Scherzer fills on important role.
Even if Scherzer doesn’t reach that level of domination when he joined the Dodgers in 2021, any Max Scherzer is a much better alternative to run out every fifth day than either Martin Perez or Andrew Heaney. In fact, Scherzer’s arrival should force one of those failed starters into the bullpen (assuming Eovaldi has more starts left in his arm).
If so, he’s already paying dividends.