The New York Mets have lost the Jacob deGrom sweepstakes — the 34-year-old two-time Cy Young Award winner signing a five-year, $185 million deal with the Texas Rangers.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, a conditional sixth year is also in the deal that would make the total value of the contract worth $222 million. The average annual value of the contract is tabbed at $37 million.
It’s a sizable gamble to make despite deGrom being one of the most dominant pitchers of this generation. Since 2018, he’s boasted a 2.05 ERA and a 0.868 WHIP, but injury issues have derailed any sort of sustainability. He hasn’t posted more than 20 starts in a season since 2019.
His signature is just the latest big-ticket signing for a Rangers team that continues to rebuild by investing remarkable funds into its ranks. Last year, they spent roughly half a billion dollars on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Now deGrom gives them an undisputed ace to anchor a rotation with.
For the Mets committing five years at $37 million to match Texas’ offer likely was likely a task too large, even for Steve Cohen’s pockets. New York has already made Edwin Diaz the richest reliever in MLB history and they are also expected to make a run at retaining center fielder Brandon Nimmo with a nine-figure contract of his own.
However, multiple reports have suggested that deGrom’s camp didn’t give the Mets much of an opportunity to counter — or submit a best and final offer.
The main question that now surrounds the organization, though, is what their starting rotation will look like and how general manager Billy Eppler will pivot.
Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker also opted out of their contracts when the 2022 season ended, leaving Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Joey Lucchesi as the only starters under contract for 2023.
They have been linked with the likes of 2022 AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and highly-touted Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga. Carlos Rodon also is one of the top free-agent arms on the market, as well. And a significant amount of money that might have been set aside for deGrom can now be reallocated toward some of those other targets.
“I wish him well,” Steve Cohen said of deGrom in a statement to SNY’s Andy Martino. “He has the right to choose his team. Now this team has to move on to the next thing.”
For more on the Mets and Jacob deGrom, visit AMNY.com