Starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt along with center fielder Brandon Nimmo all denied their one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offers from the Mets on Tuesday.
The expected decisions guarantee that all three will hit free agency where they are now eligible to sign with other teams.
For each player that signs elsewhere, the Mets would be rewarded with a draft pick after the fourth round.
Of course, that doesn’t provide much consolation for potentially losing out on three pivotal members of a 101-win Mets team. Granted, it was a foregone conclusion at this point that all three would choose to test the open waters of free agency.
Despite struggling to find his dominance after missing the first half of the season, deGrom was the only Mets pitcher to record a win in the Wild Card round against the San Diego Padres. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been linked heavily to the Texas Rangers as his next landing spot, which would bring an unceremonious ending to the 34-year-old’s brilliant career in Queens.
As for now, he appears to be the most likely of the trio to leave despite previously saying that he thought it’d be “really cool” to spend his entire career with the Mets.
Bassitt professed his admiration for New York as well after being acquired from the Oakland Athletics last offseason. He was the workhorse of the Mets’ rotation, leading them in innings pitched and strikeouts while going 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA.
Nimmo put up a career year with stellar defense in center field and — more importantly — a full, healthy season to prove his worth on the market this winter. The Wyoming native is expected to receive heavy interest from the Colorado Rockies, among others, but has been the most forward about coming back for another go with the Mets.
“I’m definitely interested but there’s a lot of things that go into that this offseason and like I said, still trying to digest that,” Nimmo said after the Mets were eliminated from the NL Wild Card. “But I’m definitely interested. There’s no question.”