Max Scherzer has back surgery and will not be starting the 2024 season for World Series champion Rangers

Max Scherzer has back surgery and will not be starting the 2024 season for World Series champion Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Max Scherzer had surgery for a herniated disk in his lower back and will miss a significant portion of next season.

The 39-year-old right-hander, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, had surgery Thursday after injections and other less-evasive treatments didn’t relieve the pain. He is due $43,333,334 in the final season of a $130 million, three-year contract he signed with the New York Mets.

Scherzer, who was removed from the roster during the World Series because of back discomfort, had surgery Thursday, general manager Chris Young said Friday. Young said the team is hopeful Scherzer will be fully healed and recovered by June or July.


Scherzer said in a statement released by the team the back pain got worse after he returned to his offseason home in Florida, and that he got the diagnosis of a herniated disk.


“Getting this procedure done now will give me the best chance to pitch as much as possible for the Rangers in 2024,” Scherzer said. “I look forward to putting in the rehab work and getting back on the mound next summer.”

Scherzer was limited to 23 starts in 2022 by a left oblique injury and 27 starts this year by neck spasms and a right teres muscle strain.

He was forced from his start in Game 3 of the World Series after three innings. He would have been in a line to start a potential Game 7, but was removed from the roster before Game 4 in Arizona, the night before the Rangers won their first World Series title by winning Game 5.


A trade-deadline acquisition from the Mets on July 30, Scherzer strained a muscle in his right shoulder on Sept. 12 and returned to make two starts in the AL Championship Series against Houston, going 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA. Scherzer allowed five runs over four innings and took the loss in Game 3, and then gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision in Game 7.

“Obviously not the best news, but nonetheless, we’re glad that we have a diagnosis and a solution,” Young said. “Max is recovering and feeling better already and we look forward to getting him healthy and back out there next summer.”

Young didn’t think the two injuries were connected and said Scherzer was feeling great going into the World Series before the back injury.

Max, in my experience, has a very high threshold for pain. And he also knows his body really, really well,” Young said. “And so when he is feeling something, he’s very open and honest about how he’s feeling. … It’s been helpful for us, too, in terms of managing these things.”


Scherzer’s 3,367 strikeouts are the most among active pitchers. He was 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 27 starts for the Mets and Rangers. He struck out 174 in 152 2/3 innings.


As part of the trade to Texas, Scherzer exercised his 2024 option. The Mets will pay Texas $30,833,334, leaving the pitcher’s cost to Texas at $12.5 million.


The Rangers also have former Mets star and two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom recovering from elbow surgery. He is out until at least late next season.

DeGrom went to Texas last offseason with a $185 million, five-year deal. He was limited to 30 1/3 innings before getting hurt, going 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA with 45 strikeouts as the Rangers won all six games he started.

Young said deGrom isn’t throwing yet but will soon have a checkup.

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