Former Mets GM shares why he came nowhere near landing his top trade deadline target

Destined to become a Met anyway, the team discussed a trade for Max Scherzer in 2021.
San Diego Padres v New York Mets
San Diego Padres v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Max Scherzer would eventually find his way to the New York Mets in free agency. The letter S with a line down the middle of it known as the dollar sign is a lot more powerful than anything else. In particular, it wields more strength than the Mets did back in the summer of 2021.

Former Mets General Manager Zack Scott, no relation to Christian, has been an open book about his front office experiences. Although he spent only one season in New York, it was the first with Steve Cohen owning the ball club. What a wild year it was.

Scott has shared a lot about the trade deadline and the decisions that went into eventually landing who they did. One player they attempted to snag was Scherzer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and for more than one reason.

The Mets wanted to trade for Max Scherzer but failed in the two places where it mattered

It was already impossible for the Mets to land Scherzer because of his own ability to deny a trade to a place he had no desire to go. Despite signing with the Mets months later, Queens was on his “no go” list during those final days with the Washington Nationals. The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the other list of teams he was willing to go to. We know this because that’s where the Nationals would end up sending him.

Along with the power of the player, the Mets were lacking in the other important place. A depleted farm system torn apart mostly by Brodie Van Wagenen, the team lacked the pieces Washington was looking to land in exchange for their star pitcher. Instead, the Mets settled with Trevor Williams coming over alongside Javier Baez from the Chicago Cubs as a sixth starter and veteran Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays.

The lack of pitchers progressing through the Mets system has done plenty of damage to the major league roster. Christian Scott’s upcoming debut is one of the biggest in recent years. Who was the last starting pitcher we were truly excited to see. David Peterson? He pales in comparison to Scott who ranks as a top 100 prospect.

The Mets could run into a similar issue at this year’s trade deadline if they are in buyer’s mode. Although there are some fascinating pitchers, Scott stands out way above the rest. The Mets can much more easily subtract from the position player pool, but with so few starting pitchers signed through next season, holding onto the ones they truly believe in is important. This goes for the rotation and bullpen.

Scherzer on the 2021 Mets might not have made enough of a difference anyway. Still, it’s interesting to learn how desirable he was to the team and how far away they were from ever making a deal happen.