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Max Scherzer Pulls Back Curtain on Pre-Trade Meeting With Mets Executives

Before the frenzied trade deadline activity, the Mets dropped one of the first big dominoes by trading ace Max Scherzer to the Rangers on Friday. On Tuesday, Scherzer divulged what led to his departure from Queens, and what he learned about the club’s plans for the immediate future in conversations with general manager Billy Eppler and team owner Steve Cohen.

Scherzer told The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal that it was not his intention to leave the Mets, but that he agreed to waive his no-trade clause once he learned that the franchise was setting its retooling sights not toward 2024, but more toward the ’25 and ‘26 campaigns, calling the ’24 season a “transitory year.”

“I talked to Billy,” Scherzer said. “I was like, ‘O.K., are we reloading for 2024?’ He goes, ‘No, we’re not. Basically our vision now is for 2025-2026, ‘25 at the earliest, more like ‘26. We’re going to be making trades around that.’

“I was like, ‘So the team is not going to be pursuing free agents this offseason or assemble a team that can compete for a World Series next year?’ He said, ’No, we’re not going to be signing the upper-echelon guys. We’re going to be on the smaller deals within free agency.’”

The Mets entered Tuesday in fourth place in the National League East and in eighth place in the wild-card hunt. Scherzer, in his age-38 season, owns a 9–4 record with a 4.01 ERA in 19 starts. He’s allowed 1.92 home runs per nine innings, the worst mark of his career.

By the time the deadline passed at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Mets had parted ways with starting pitcher Justin Verlander, outfielder Mark Canha, closer David Robertson, outfielder Tommy Pham and reliever Dominic Leone.

According to Scherzer, the plan to rebuild toward 2025 was not what he or the other players on the roster were expecting.

“That’s a completely different vision from what everybody had in the clubhouse. All the players had a vision of, we reload for 2024. That was no longer the case … I’m not itching to jump ship. I don’t have to chase the ring. I made a three-year commitment with New York. I would honor that if we were going to try and win in 2024. But that wasn’t the case.”

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