Quick question: Do you remember when there was still a chance of Jacob deGrom re-signing with the Mets?
It feels like years ago at this point, but news of the right-hander signing with the Texas Rangers dropped on the evening of December 2nd. So, it’s actually been less than three weeks as I sit here and write this.
Steven Matz signing with the Cardinals kicked off New York’s spending spree last winter. In a similar fashion, deGrom leaving was the first domino to fall for more record spending in Queens. Shelling out more than $800 million certainly softens the sting of deGrom not being a lifetime Met like many of us thought he’d be. (At least Brandon Nimmo will be one, right?)
The Rangers didn’t introduce deGrom until December 8th, when he made those famed comments about Texas’ winning vision. He also said this about the Mets and their fans:
"There will always be a special place in my heart for the New York Mets and their fans."
– Jacob deGrom pic.twitter.com/V61nAHqLWK
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 8, 2022
While the Mets didn’t accomplish what they hoped to with him on the mound, he gave fans a reason to get excited every fifth day. Even for those who liked hearing this, there was still some commotion regarding how there wasn’t a public thank-you to the Mets and their fans. You know, something similar to what Chris Bassitt did after he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
But nothing happened in the days following that introductory press conference. Those days soon turned into a week, and then two weeks. With each passing day, I was convinced this wasn’t going to happen. I almost wrote something saying we should stop waiting for that thank you.
We’ve watched deGrom pitch in the big leagues since his debut in 2014. If there’s one thing just about everyone can agree upon, it’s that he’s more of a reserved and quiet guy. He’s never struck me as someone who likes big displays of affection… or big displays of anything, for that matter.
Jacob deGrom took out a full page ad in the New York Post on Thursday to thank Mets fans. pic.twitter.com/n77WDeL5c9
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) December 22, 2022
Was this thank-you a little late? Yea, absolutely, but I’m sure many people had already resigned to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. This doesn’t really change anything, but it does provide closure for the fan base with one of the franchise’s all-time great starting pitchers.
If you build a Mount Rushmore of Mets starters, the first three guys on there should include Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and Jacob deGrom. It would be irresponsible not to.
The Mets’ incredible spending has made it a lot easier for fans to move on from Jacob deGrom’s departure. Now with this public thank you, we can officially close the book on a tenure that was one of the most electrifying this generation of Mets fans have ever seen.