2) Max Scherzer
The Mets signed Max Scherzer to be Jacob deGrom's co-ace ahead of the 2022 season. It was Steve Cohen's first massive free agent splash and was seen as a piece that might not only catapult the Mets into postseason contention but completely change the culture. Players of Scherzer's caliber had never seriously considered the Mets in recent years in free agency.
Most of Scherzer's first year with the Mets was a success. He set a career best with a 2.29 ERA in 23 starts and 145.1 innings pitched. had he stayed healthy the entire year he would've been solidly in the NL Cy Young conversation. The way he finished was obviously extremely disappointing. He pitched poorly in a game the Mets had to have in Atlanta which would've won them the division, and then failed miserably in his playoff start against the Padres.
It felt like those late-season struggles found a way to impact him negatively this past season as Scherzer posted a 4.01 ERA in 19 starts for the Mets this season. He missed time due to injury and once again failed in starts that were considered big.
As they did with Verlander, the Mets wound up shipping Scherzer away at the trade deadline to the Rangers in the deal that brought Luisangel Acuna back to Flushing. Acuna being good would help a bit, but Scherzer not even lasting two of the three years he had in his deal is obviously extremely disappointing.
Scherzer wound up missing substantial time due to injury, and failed in games that mattered. He came in with an ironman reputation and as a guy known to be a big-game pitcher. He was neither with New York. There were positives, but the negatives outweighed them in the end.