At the risk of killing the good vibes around the Mets’ ongoing offensive explosion, let’s take a moment to look back at last year’s deadline deals, where Max Scherzer was traded for Luisangel Acuna and Justin Verlander was dealt for Ryan Clifford and Drew Gilbert. Let’s break it down by what the players did in 2023 and also what they’ve done the first few weeks in 2024:

Scherzer: 4-2, 3.20 ERA, 0.956 WHIP, 45 IP, 15 BB, 53 Ks
Acuna – 167 PA, .243/.317/.304, 15 SB, 5 CS

Verlander: 7-3, 3.31 ERA, 1.118 WHIP, 68 IP, 14 BB, 63 Ks
Clifford – 140 PA, .188/.307/.376, 6 HR, 20 RBIs
Gilbert – 149 PA, .325/.423/.561, 6 HR, 21 RBIs

Scherzer left his start in the World Series after three scoreless innings due to a back injury. Verlander made three playoff starts, allowing 6 ER in 18.1 IP.

Scherzer – Has yet to pitch due to injury
Acuna – 69 PA, .197/.232/.273, 7 SB, 2 CS

Verlander: 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 0.667 WHIP, 6 IP, 0 BB, 4 Ks
Clifford – 55 PA, .217/.346/.348, 1 HR, 4 RBIs
Gilbert – 28 PA, .240/.321/.360, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Verlander was just activated from the IL, where he was sitting out due to a shoulder injury. In what in my estimation was a mistake, Clifford was sent back to Hi-A Brooklyn, a notorious pitcher’s park. Gilbert has been on the IL for two weeks due to a hamstring strain.

With his return to the majors before the end of April, Verlander has a decent shot to reach the 140-IP threshold which would trigger his option for 2025. If that vests, the Mets will be on the hook for half of the $35 million that Verlander would make and that amount would count in their luxury tax calculation, making it harder to get under the draft-pick-penalty threshold.

There was a lot of excitement for the three prospects that the Mets received. Gilbert was very good in Double-A last year. Other than that, it hasn’t actually been very impressive. It’s way too soon to declare anything about the return. But it would be nice to see Acuna approach the 121 wRC+ he posted in Double-A last year before the trade. Not that a 121 mark is a superstar number but it’s significantly better than the 76 he posted for Binghamton last year or the 28 he has this year in Syracuse.

One comment on “Checking in on the early results from last year’s deadline deals of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander

  • NYM6986

    You have to hope that some of the prospects you pick up have potential and we believe Acuna does. We needed to move both starters at the deadline if only to just slash salaries and they were not looking to take on any MLB level salaries. Happy to be patient with all our farm hands, but I’d like to see Martinez DHing sooner than later. For the record, I really liked both Scherzer and Verlander and the whole way then went about preparing for their starts and the camaraderie they fostered, especially among the starters.

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