The Texas Rangers and New York Mets officially completed the Max Scherzer trade on Sunday.
The Rangers acquired the three-time Cy Young Award winner and cash considerations in exchange for utility man Luisangel Acuna. Both teams announced the deal after it was initially reported Saturday night.
While the move is head-scratching on paper as the Mets entered Sunday seven games out of the final wild-card spot in the National League with many games left to play, New York general manager Billy Eppler denied the organization was rebuilding.
“Given the place we’re in and the odds we’re facing, it was a strategic decision, and we kind of took this opportunity to kind of serve another goal of the organization, which is to enhance the farm system,” Eppler said before Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals, per SNY.
“But I do want to be clear that it’s not a rebuild, it’s not a fire sale, it’s not a liquidation. This is just a repurposing of [owner Steve Cohen’s] investment in the club and kind of shifting that investment from the team into the organization.”
Acuna was among the best prospects in the Rangers’ system. He was hitting .315 with seven home runs at Double-A Frisco before the trade. Eppler lauded his versatility in the news conference.
Acuna will start in Double-A Binghamton.
The Mets signed Scherzer before the start of the 2022 season. He was 20-9 with a 3.02 ERA and 294 strikeouts in 42 starts for the Mets during his stint.
He made his last start on Friday – a win over the Nationals behind his seven strikeouts in seven innings. He could make his first appearance for the Rangers by Wednesday.
Texas entered Sunday with a one-game lead on the Houston Astros in the American League West.