The Mets, at long last, are showing life. Even if they rebound for good, they might run out of runway to complete a 2022 Phillies-esque turnaround.
Regardless, former GM Steve Phillips doesn’t think a trade of Max Scherzer is on the table.
Scherzer is in the second season of his three-year contract, which has a player option following this season. Because of the Mets’ place in the standings – which currently has them 6.5 games back of the last wild card spot – and Scherzer’s opt out, his name is beginning to show up on trade deadline candidate lists.
The 38-year-old hasn’t consistently displayed the ace quality play we’ve grown used to this season, but he undoubtedly would have value on the trade market. Of course, that would be a nuclear move for New York, one that seems unlikely given the organization’s clearly stated desire to win.
“I don’t think they’re going to deal him,” Phillips said Friday on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ. “The idea that he would opt out just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe somebody would give him a two-year deal at $30 million a year and that’s better than the $43.5 million for one year, maybe. But I don’t think the Mets deal him.”
The Scherzer angle is just one part of a philosophical discussion the Mets likely are having. Trading Scherzer, especially with all the troubles the rotation has had, is antithetical to the mission of making the postseason.
However, the Mets need to have an honest conversation with themselves about how feasible a trip to the postseason this year is. When the time comes for them to make a buy, sell or stand pat decision, their picture should be more, but not totally, in focus.
“Look, they’ve won five in a row, I think they believe their baseball is in front of them,” Phillips said. “And I will tell you after watching them the last several days, they look more like the team from last year. The dugout has come to life, there’s some energy there that was lacking all season long, the pitching is getting locked in a little bit. Just like a year ago we saw the Phillies (turnaround) … I think people believe that (the Mets) can still do that.
“So I think the Mets are going to take the rest of this time before the break, this weekend, they’re going to take the coming out of the gate next week and really see where they are at that point,” Phillips continued. “They’re going to have to wait until after (the All-Star break) -- probably not until about the 25th, 26th, 27th of July -- until they can really label who they are.”