The Astros and Mets May Be Trade Partners; Just Not For the Pitcher You Think

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

"It's pointless to even talk about. Go ask Steve. If Steve says it's so, then let's talk about it. Until then, it's pointless to think about."

Max Scherzer

Needless to say, Max Scherzer didn't mince words when asked about waiving his no-trade clause as the Mets continue to tread water. He controls his own fate, but with Scherzer's age creeping up, does he want to waste a season pitching for a team going nowhere when he could contend for a ring? If the Mets decide to pull the plug, it's a safe assumption Scherzer would want out.

Chatter has begun about the Astros trading for Justin Verlander in the past couple of days. That would be an absolute disaster if they were to do so. Sure, it would be nice nostalgia to have him back, but if they wanted to pay his contract, they should have done it this offseason without having to give up prospects they would have to in order to land him now.

But what about his co-ace atop the Mets rotation? Could Max Scherzer be a fit for the Astros?

Well, Houston needs an arm. They need a bat yes, but with Cristian Javier struggling, LMJ and Luis Garcia done for the year, and José Urquidy still on the IL, they need a reliable starter. Enter Scherzer, one year removed from a 2.29 ERA.

He's 7-2 this year with a 3.95 ERA, but his xERA is only 3.46 and his Statcast page shows the ace Scherzer is still in there.

So how do they land such an arm?

Chas McCormick would likely go back to New York. Starling Marte has been bad, Brandon Nimmo has had durability issues in the past and Tommy Pham is only on a one-year deal. McCormick is a young, controllable outfielder with experience on the biggest stage.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want Chas to go. He should be an Astro moving forward, and he should be in the lineup every day. His 116 OPS+ is third-highest on the team. But with the offense struggling this badly, if Dusty Baker won't play their third best bat over Corey Julks, Bligh Madris, and Jake Meyers now, when would he? Baker's vendetta against McCormick in nonsensical and detrimental to the team, but he simply won't play one of their best players.

The Astros might as well get something out of Chas. Another arm like Colton Gordon could find himself going back to New York in the deal, as well as a prospect like Pedro León.

Baseball Trade Values gives McCormick a much, much higher value than the 38-year-old Scherzer, but there's no way the Mets would swap Scherzer for McCormick straight up.

If the Astros want to run down the Rangers and make some noise in the playoffs, Mad Max may need to find himself in an Astros uniform.