The New York Mets hit the big red button and traded away two of their top pitchers over the last couple of days. Max Scherzer was dealt to the Texas Rangers over the weekend, and earlier this afternoon the news broke that 40-year-old Justin Verlander was headed back to the Houston Astros.
Verlander played for the Astros for five seasons from 2017-2022, winning two world series championships. He joins a pretty well-off rotation including Frambler Valdez, Hunter Brown, Christian Javier, and J.P. France, who all have at least eight wins on the year. The pitching rotation does have its points of weaknesses. The Astros have allowed 875 hits this season (17th most) and 125 home runs this season (15th most). Adding Verlander helps a bit in both areas. He possesses .82 hit's per inning and less than one home run for every nine innings pitches on average. He may not be the same CY Young winner he was a year ago in Houston, but he has the opportunity to be productive around a group of players with a winning mindset, opposed to whatever is going on right now in New York.
In return, the Mets receive outfielders Drew Gilbert (HOU No. 1 Prospect, No. 68 in baseball) and Ryan Clifford (HOU No. 4 Prospect) from the farm system.
Moving off of Verlander just never seems like a smart thing to do, especially after signing him for a $43 million annual salary half a year ago, but I see this as the 50-55 Mets waiving the white flag on this season. The organization just traded its two best pitchers in the rotation, to two of the best teams in the American League, and tried to walk away with as much potential for the future in current farm system players. Will it work out? Only time will tell. But tune in this from 'In The Zone' on Tuesday with Brandon Kravitz and Mike Ginitti from Spotrac.com to learn more about all of the trades going down on deadline day.