Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is currently not employed by the Mets. That hasn’t happened since New York selected him in the 2010 MLB Draft. And with the current free agent exploring options outside of Queens, it’s possible he’s suiting up for someone else in 2023.
That is weird. There are also many Mets fans who can’t handle the mere thought of the right-hander pitching elsewhere. The Amazins haven’t had many homegrown superstars that have stayed for their entire careers. Heck, some are still trying to get over the 1977 trade of Tom Seaver (and rightfully so).
But just because other teams are seriously interested (*cough* Texas Rangers *cough*) doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Even if he’s intrigued by the possibility of playing for them. A report from Mike Puma of the New York Post mentioned New York believes deGrom would pick the Mets if his contract offers are similar.
For those worried about deGrom packing his bags, MLB.com‘s Anthony DiComo offered another beacon of hope. Here’s the tidbit many will hold onto right now:
…from my vantage point, the Mets remain the most likely team to sign him until proven otherwise.
That’s good news, but anything can happen in free agency. DeGrom is one of the top available starting pitchers, and any team can ramp up their pursuit at any time. It seems like the Rangers are the most interested, but the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and Yankees could all have varying degrees of interest.
Since the Mets let their ace become available and test the open market, it shows they’re at peace with all potential outcomes. DiComo noted New York absolutely wants deGrom back, but Puma’s report shows there are clear parameters.
New York and deGrom’s camp have had an open line of communication for months, so there are no surprises. Because of the Mets’ reported willingness to award a record payday (on a short-term deal), their perceived status as consistent contenders, and his past relationship with the organization, New York still being the most likely landing spot makes total sense.
All hope should not be lost for fans holding their breath simply because he didn’t immediately re-sign. The hurler has never been a free agent, so he’s simply seeing if a better offer exists to consider.
I’m in the same camp as DiComo, though. We have to assume the Mets are still the frontrunner. At least, until we start getting rumored details about negotiations, or he officially signs elsewhere.