2023 Rangers join exclusive list

2023 Mets 8th team with 2 multi-time Cy Young winners

July 30th, 2023

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is headed to Texas, where he'll join former Mets teammate and two-time Cy Young-winning pitcher Jacob deGrom in the Rangers rotation.

With deGrom sidelined at least until the second half of the 2024 season as he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery, it'll be a while before it's possible for the duo to suit up together again at the same time, but once Scherzer debuts, both will have appeared for the '23 Rangers.

Just 21 pitchers have won multiple Cy Young Awards since the honor was established in 1956 -- so what about two of those multi-time Award-winning pitchers being on a team together? In 2023, Scherzer and Justin Verlander became just the eighth duo of multi-time Cy Young Award winners to pitch for the same team in at least one season. Now Scherzer and deGrom, reunited in Texas, become the ninth, and first to do so as a duo with multiple teams. (One word of caution: None of the previous eight combined for a World Series title in those seasons.)

This is considering only pitchers who had already won at least two Cy Young Awards entering that season, so Scherzer and Verlander count now -- but not for their previous pairing with the Tigers (2010-14). Here’s a look at these star-studded duos.

2023 Mets: Max Scherzer & Justin Verlander

On the heels of a remarkable 2022 season in which he took home his third Cy Young Award, the Mets signed Verlander to a two-year, $86.67 million deal in December 2022. There he joined a familiar face in Scherzer, alongside whom he'd risen to prominence over a decade earlier with the Tigers. In their brief time sharing the Mets rotation, both fared reasonably well, but team-wide struggles would cut the reunion short -- Scherzer was dealt to the Rangers in exchange for Texas' No. 3 prospect, shortstop Luisangel Acuña, on July 29.

2022 Mets: Max Scherzer & Jacob deGrom

The Mets made a huge splash by signing Scherzer away from the Dodgers, inking him to a three-year, $130 million contract. From 2016-19, both he and deGrom had won a pair of NL Cy Young Awards. Both pitchers were effective in 2022, but injuries limited Scherzer to 23 starts and deGrom to 11 -- although that didn't stop the club from winning 101 games. However, the Mets fell to the Padres in the NL Wild Card Series before deGrom bolted for Texas as a free agent, thereby opening the door for Verlander to jump to Queens.

2021 Dodgers: Max Scherzer & Clayton Kershaw

That’s right, Scherzer has been part of three of these duos in the past three seasons. The Dodgers acquired him from the Nationals ahead of the 2021 Trade Deadline, giving the club four pitchers with Cy Young Awards to their credit (Scherzer, Kershaw, David Price and Trevor Bauer). That set a record for a team in a single season. In Scherzer and Kershaw, L.A. had two three-time winners, becoming the second team to have such a duo pitch for them in a season, but the first to have them in the rotation at the same time. The other instance: the 1986 White Sox, with Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver, who did not overlap on the roster. More on them later.

2008 Mets: Pedro Martínez & Johan Santana

Martínez had three Cy Youngs and Santana had two, each of them winning those awards before coming to the Mets. The Mets signed Martínez in free agency entering the 2005 season, then added Santana in a trade entering ‘08. Their one season of overlap saw Santana lead the Majors in ERA at 2.53, while Martínez had a 5.61 mark in his final year in Queens.

2005-07 Mets: Pedro Martínez & Tom Glavine

Of course, Santana wasn’t the only multi-time Cy Young winner with whom Martínez overlapped over the course of his contract in Flushing. When he arrived, Glavine had already been on the Mets since 2003, after winning two Cy Youngs in the ’90s with the Braves. The duo made the National League All-Star team together in 2006, part of a franchise-record six All-Stars for the Mets that year.

1999-2002 Braves: Tom Glavine & Greg Maddux

Martínez wasn’t Glavine’s only multi-time Cy Young-winning teammate in his career. Glavine’s first Cy Young Award came in 1991 and his second in ‘98. His teammate Greg Maddux had already won four Cy Youngs -- in a row -- by the end of the ‘95 awards season. For the final four years they were teammates, from 1999 through 2002, Glavine and Maddux were a multi-award-winning duo.

2001 Red Sox: Pedro Martínez & Bret Saberhagen

We’ll forgive you if this one didn’t jump to mind immediately. Saberhagen pitched for the Red Sox from 1997-99 and in 2001, after winning his Cy Youngs in 1985 and ‘89. But Martínez’s second Cy Young came in ‘99, so he didn’t qualify to be one of these teammates until 2000 -- when he’d go on to win a third, anyway. Saberhagen missed the entire ‘00 season recovering from injury, so the only year where each pitched as a multi-time winner for the Sox was ‘01. Saberhagen made just three starts, and Martínez missed time as well -- so they were never in the rotation at the same time.

1986 White Sox: Steve Carlton & Tom Seaver

These were two Hall of Famers at the tail ends of their careers. Carlton had won his four Cy Youngs by the end of 1982 and Seaver had won his three by the end of ‘75. Seaver began the season on the White Sox but was traded to the Red Sox for Steve Lyons on June 29. Meanwhile, Carlton began the year on the Phillies before being released on June 24. He signed as a free agent with the Giants on July 4, and they released him on Aug. 7. The White Sox quickly scooped him up a few days later. Thus, while Seaver and Carlton both pitched for the White Sox in ‘86, they were never on the roster at the same time.