The Two-Time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom opted out of his contract with the New York Mets, preferring to try free agency and get a deal he believes he is worth for the remainder of his career.
So where next for the 34-year-old and while the Mets are very much in the picture, is he being courted elsewhere?
The New York Mets selected deGrom in the ninth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2010 and did not pitch at all in 2011.
He gradually worked his way up the Minor League ladder over the next two years to finally be able to use him as a starter in 2014.
DeGrom made his debut against the New York Yankees at Citi Field pitching seven innings, allowing only one run and striking out six.
DeGrom’s status grew and grew with the Mets winning the Cy Young Award in back-to-back seasons and becoming a four-time All-Star. He has appeared in the World Series with the Mets in 2015 but he wants more.
The Mets owner Steve Cohen appears to be trying to secure the 34-year-old to a new long-ish-term deal despite interest from the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers have interest in Carlos Rodon (as well as the pitcher starved Mets) so that may play into New York’s favour.
If the Rangers decide to move on from deGrom, then the Mets are likely to be the only team to offer deGrom a three-year deal.
The Atlanta Braves were mooted to be a side interested in obtaining the services of deGrom, but their interest appears to have cooled in recent weeks.
Following the defeat to the San Diego Padres in game three of the National League Wild Card Series, deGrom spoke to MLB.com about his future and said: “I haven’t really thought about it. It’s disappointing that we lost tonight. That was the goal, to move on. The plan was to be going to Los Angeles for the NLDS (National League Division Series) and that’s not what we are doing, so I haven’t really thought about it right now.”
With the Yankees concentrating trying to secure their superstar Aaron Judge to a long-term, multi-year, multi-million deal, are they going to be interested in grabbing Jacob deGrom from across the city?
While the offer to Judge back in April of $213.5million is likely to be loose change now, will the Yankees be able to afford any more of the superstars that are available.
Brian Cashman the General Manager of the Yankees has been reported as asking for the medical records of Jacob deGrom (normal practice in MLB) and they have been linked with shortstop Trea Turner and Carlos Correa, both shortstops who are going to get big contracts this offseason.
The Yankees were interested in Correa last season but deemed him too expensive, if they don’t get Judge then expect the Bronx Bombers to move more aggressively for deGrom, if already hasn’t stayed in New York with the Mets, the Yankees have money to spend, but it appears only on one major addition, and that is Judge.
According to the New York Post, the winter GM meetings may hold a key to where deGrom goes. As it stands only six players that had free agency at the end of the season have signed new deals, the latest as of Sunday was Mike Clevinger signing for the Chicago White Sox after leaving the San Diego Padres.
DeGrom is looking to become the highest-paid pitcher in MLB after Max Scherzer, who set the standard last year with a three-year deal and $130million.
The Texas Rangers are thought to be interested in deGrom, and they do need to upgrade their rotation after signing and giving big contracts to infielders Corey Seager (10 years, $325million) and Marcus Semien (seven years, $175million), although they may be looking at Rodon who is likely to be a lot cheaper than deGrom.
And while Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker are free agents also from the Mets rotation, I feel that deGom will return to Queen’s and become their all-time great pitcher, although it’s hard to usurp Tom Seaver.