2. Max Scherzer
If it sounded like we were dissing Scherzer on the previous slide, we weren't! He's not as good as Verlander, but he's still an above-average pitcher. He's also a year younger and would cost less in terms of prospects, so those are points in his favor.
If we can't get Verlander, Scherzer would be a pretty good consolation prize. He might not be a capital A "Ace" anymore, but he doesn't have to be. Nathan Eovaldi already has that role covered. What we really need is more depth and another plus arm so we can move either Martin Perez or Andrew Heaney to the bullpen.
And who knows? Maybe Scherzer is just sick of New York and the negativity around the Mets this year. Playing for a losing team is no fun, but the Rangers are in first place! Winning is fun, and it could rejuvenate Scherzer and get him back on track, similar to what happened in 2021 when he went from the Nationals to the Dodgers.
I will say that his 2.0 HR/9 rate concerns me, as it's the worst of his career by a considerable margin. Still, I'm tempted to say it's a fluke based on his career 1.0 HR/9 rate. If he can get that under control, the rest of his peripherals are still pretty good.
Is Scherzer my first choice? No. But would I still take him? Absolutely.