Jacob deGrom
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Who could have seen this coming?

In fairness to Jacob deGrom: It’s currently in the mid-40s in Arizona and there is snow on the ground. And every big league team would likely do the same thing if they had just signed a pitcher to a $185 million deal. Still. Every Mets fan can tell you there is a very good chance the “abundance of caution” will soon become “a few weeks” and then possibly “the All-Star break.” That’s just how it goes with deGrom. And it’s unfortunate, because he is otherworldly when healthy.

But hey, Justin Verlander is here and the Mets are Hot Stove League champions according to ESPN:

The Mets’ payroll, including tax penalties, will be a projected $468.5 million — more than $150 million higher than the Yankees’ payroll. … The Mets spent, and spent big — some of it on re-signing their own players and some of it on replacing free agents with new free agents. It’s the most expensive team in history, and on paper, it’s as good as the 101-win team from last season.

Of course, they also wanted Carlos Correa. He would have made them a better team in 2023, but I think not signing him is better for the team over the long haul. Brett Baty looks like he will hit and should settle in nicely at third base, and, let’s face it, even (owner Steve) Cohen probably has limits on how much he wants to spend on payroll. And in a couple of years, they’ll likely need to replace (Justin) Verlander and Max Scherzer.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.