The New York Mets, the most expensive team in Major League Baseball history, have officially become sellers. In a surprising move, the Mets traded Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers just a day after sending David Robertson to the Miami Marlins. This decision marks the Mets’ acceptance that their season is not going as planned, as they enter Sunday seven games out of a wild-card spot with a 49-55 record. However, this move also showcases the smart business tactics of leveraging owner Steve Cohen’s wealth.
By eating more than $35 million to facilitate the Scherzer trade, the Mets were able to acquire Luisangel Acuña, one of the game’s top prospects. This demonstrates their keenness to build up their farm system and shift away from relying on high payrolls. Additionally, the trade allows the Mets to lower their competitive balance tax obligation, resulting in potential cost savings.
With Scherzer and Robertson off the roster, the Mets have several other trade candidates, including Mark Canha, Tommy Pham, and Justin Verlander. Despite the difficulty of replacing these high-profile players in next year’s rotation, the Mets are confident in their ability to do so with Cohen’s deep pockets. In a seller’s market, the Mets can expect to receive good returns on their trade assets, as seen with the previous trades of Robertson and Scherzer.
Verlander, who is now 40 years old, has performed exceptionally well this season and is owed $15 million for the remainder of this season and $43.3 million next season. His contract also includes a conditional player option for 2025 worth $35 million. While it might be challenging to make the finances work, it is not impossible, as evidenced by the Mets’ successful trade involving Scherzer. Therefore, it is worthwhile for the Mets to explore trade offers for Verlander and potentially add more prospects while saving money.
Several teams should express interest in acquiring Verlander. The Baltimore Orioles, who lack an ace and have a surplus of young infielders, can benefit from adding Verlander. The Houston Astros, Verlander’s former team, could use another veteran starter for depth and familiarity. The Cincinnati Reds, who are in contention for the NL Central, have a pressing need for a starting pitcher and possess a loaded farm system that can facilitate a trade. The Los Angeles Dodgers, with their financial might and concerns over the workload of their young starters, would find it advantageous to add Verlander. Lastly, the Tampa Bay Rays, who are short on starting pitchers due to injuries, can elevate their pitching staff by adding Verlander.
All of these teams have the necessary prospects and financial capabilities to make a trade for Verlander. However, it ultimately depends on Verlander’s approval as he holds a full no-trade clause. Nevertheless, the Mets’ GM, Billy Eppler, should reach out to these teams and explore the potential for a trade.
In conclusion, the New York Mets’ decision to become sellers and trade Max Scherzer is a strategic move to rebuild their farm system and lower their competitive balance tax obligation. By leveraging owner Steve Cohen’s wealth, the Mets can eat substantial money to facilitate trades while acquiring highly coveted prospects. Moving forward, the Mets should explore other potential trades, including one involving Justin Verlander. The Mets, along with several other teams, have the necessary resources to make a trade for Verlander, and it is essential for them to take advantage of this seller’s market.