jacob degrom mets
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Has Jacob deGrom played his final game as a Met? We won’t know officially for a little while, but it’s a storyline that Jon Heyman of the New York Post keeps pushing.

He’s done it again in his latest piece during MLB’s General Manager meetings. In fact, the whole point of his article was saying that the Yankees have a better chance of re-signing Aaron Judge than the Mets do with deGrom.

Here are some of the things Heyman said in his piece about the hurler:

Meantime, folks who have spoken to the Mets lately opine that they believe deGrom seems pretty likely to leave.

The belief is that the Yankees will be willing to top Judge’s $36 million a year asking price from back in spring, before he became the AL single-season home run record holder, and if deGrom wants to top Max Scherzer’s record $43.3 million Mets salary, as some suggest, the strong indications are that it will not be with the Mets. 

While Judge likely wasn’t thrilled with the Yankees’ $213.5 million offer in spring (there was no counteroffer), deGrom showed he’s upset with his current contract by declaring multiple times that he would opt out of his deal, which he did Monday, officially making him a free agent. 

Once again, Heyman noted the Texas Rangers as being a team desperate enough for top-tier starting pitching to meet deGrom’s apparent contract demands. I obviously have no proof regarding how accurate or inaccurate the above statements are. However, it certainly seems like the right-hander is being painted in a negative light.

Heyman states that deGrom was upset with the contract he just opted out of this week. We’ve seen the two-time Cy Young Award winner speak about his contract and the opt-out he had many times. At no point did he look or sound upset about it. And, while it’s hard to pass up a $100 million payday at the time, he could’ve opted to not sign it in the first place if he really hated it that much. We know how betting on yourself worked for Judge.

If he didn’t opt out of his current deal, deGrom would’ve been due $30.5 million in 2023. He’s clearly looking for an annual average value either near, at, or above what teammate Max Scherzer got last winter in his three-year, $130 million deal. Will New York meet those demands? Who knows, but it’s clear that both the organization and the hurler know where they each stand. So there at least won’t be any surprises, one would imagine.

We don’t know the extent of deGrom’s market just yet. If the Mets and Rangers as the two teams willing to either meet or come close to what he’s looking for, it’d surprise me if he left for Texas. Sure, the Rangers spent a ton last winter and have shown they’re committed to investing in the big-league roster. But they’re not one starting pitcher away from competing.

This is a squad that went 68-94 last year, and they’ll have to deal with both the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners in just the American League West division. The National League East is no joke, but off the heels of a 101-win performance and a postseason appearance, the Mets at least look like legitimate contenders for 2023. Even before the roster gets filled out this winter.

I don’t know, folks. Maybe I just don’t want to believe it. If deGrom wants to get the biggest payday possible — which he’s more than entitled to do — then so be it. We know the Mets can afford anyone thanks to Steve Cohen’s deep pockets. They can’t just shell out top dollar for every single player, though. There has to be a limit somewhere.

What we can be sure of, though, is that New York has a pivot (or two, or three) if deGrom doesn’t return. Due to the constant flow of communication between both parties, maybe they already know those pivots have to become the focus now. Only time will tell for us to see what the true motivations (and limitations) are for everyone involved.

Matt Musico can be reached at matt.musico@xlmedia.com and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.