jacob degrom mets
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The MLB Hot Stove season is still young, but not much has happened yet. Even before starting pitcher Jacob deGrom opted out of his contract, the Texas Rangers were viewed as one of the biggest threats to the Mets’ efforts in re-signing the right-hander.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Rangers might not be putting on as much of a full-court press as expected.

It seems like everywhere we turn, there are MLB insiders and experts predicting deGrom will not re-sign with New York. But some developments around the Thanksgiving holiday could point to the Rangers focusing their efforts to acquire elite rotation help elsewhere.

Here’s a snippet of what Rosenthal said in his latest article:

Rosenthal is obviously covering himself with the way he worded this. But still, it adds up given Texas’ situation. After shelling out more than $500 million to Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray last winter, they want to contend. That was reinforced by hiring Bruce Bochy as the club’s next manager this winter.

Rumors surrounding Texas’ serious interest in Rodon surfaced last week before the holiday. Of course, with a payroll like theirs, the Rangers are more than capable of affording multiple big-ticket starting pitchers. Based on what Rosenthal said, though, maybe it’s easier for Texas to max out on years and dollars instead of convincing veteran pitchers to come and play for them.

The Philadelphia Phillies showed reaching the World Series while placing third in their division is possible. However, it’ll be tough to compete in the American League West with the likes of the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners also being there.

While his market is still forming, this is good news for the Mets. This could be why the front office is feeling more confident about retaining the homegrown ace, too.

If the Rangers are truly backing off, the Atlanta Braves could become the biggest threat to the Mets for deGrom. They’re set up to win now and are closer to his home in Florida. Atlanta seems unlikely to seriously bid on deGrom, but things can change. The Dodgers also have interest, which would be intriguing for any player. I’d think any hypothetical offer from Los Angeles would have to blow deGrom away to convince him to move across the country, though.

The Yankees could obviously be viewed as a threat, as well. But if deGrom wants to stay in New York, it’s very hard to envision him moving across town.

Not many have given the Mets a chance to keep Jacob deGrom in Flushing for the foreseeable future. But who knows, maybe the stars are aligning for an agreement to happen in the near future after all.

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.