The Mets have moved on from Jacob deGrom, by all accounts. Their former ace is in Texas. Justin Verlander is here and having dinner with Steve Cohen and their wives. And there are 27 days until pitchers and catchers report. Everyone is moving forward.
And then this interesting nugget is unearthed via manager Buck Showalter’s sit-down with NJ.com:
Q: Losing deGrom started this chain rotation. In retrospect, was it inevitable that he’d leave the Mets? Or was there ever a chance he’d stay?
A: Everyone would’ve liked to have Jake. We had a chance and took steps to make it happen. But Texas made him a lengthier offer.
Q: Was it just a matter of getting out-bid, though? Did you feel Jake was all that happy in New York?
A: Yes, I do. I just talked to him the other day. He said, “someday I’d like to sit down with you and explain what really happened. I really thought I’d be back there.”
I’ll take him at his word, but I think it’s pretty simple: the Rangers made him an offer that was light-years ahead of everyone else. Plus there’s no state income tax (in Texas) and he was looking for a place to spread out. He’s got it. Jake will be happy there and he’ll pitch well. He was great to have around, he was always good with me. But the thing is, Jake is from rural central Florida. He just wants to be left alone to pitch. We’ll miss him, but I can’t dwell on it at this point.
We agree with Showalter’s assessment. The Rangers made deGrom a substantial — some would say reckless — offer he could not refuse. The Mets did not want to match it given his injury history. And that was that. But who knows? Maybe there is some shocking behind-the-scenes explanation. Hopefully Buck and Jake can grab a beer down the road and hammer it out if so.
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