Did Red Sox Once Come Close To Acquiring Mets Ace Jacob deGrom?

Boston instead wound up with Pedro Beato


April 28, 2021

With Jacob deGrom scheduled to start Wednesday night when the New York Mets host the Boston Red Sox at Citi Field, it’s worth considering what could have been had a 2012 trade between the clubs played out differently.

Legendary baseball scribe Peter Gammons first brought the story to the forefront nearly six years ago, but the @redsoxstats Twitter account resurfaced the anecdote ahead of Wednesday’s matchup.

According to Gammons in a 2015 column for GammonsDaily, then-Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington asked then-Mets general manager Sandy Alderson back in 2012 to include deGrom in a trade for catcher Kelly Shoppach. The conversation did not end immediately.

Here’s the full story, via Gammons’ column:

In May, 2012, the Red Sox were working on a deal with the Mets for catcher Kelly Shoppach. Ben Cherington asked Sandy Alderson for a soon-to-be 24-year-old righthanded pitcher in the Florida State League who had missed the 2011 season after surgery.

The name? Jacob deGrom. Alderson seemed comfortable with the original idea, but checking with his minor league people caused him to tell Cherington he had second thoughts. So, finally, Boston received Pedro Beato. Second thoughts that may have altered two franchises’ histories.

Pedro Beato is… not Jacob deGrom.

Beato made just 14 relief appearances for Boston in 2012 and 2013, posting a 4.08 ERA across 17 2/3 innings. He last pitched in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017.

deGrom, meanwhile, has evolved into arguably the best pitcher in Major League Baseball, with two Cy Young Awards to his credit and three other top-eight finishes since earning National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.

Of course, deGrom wasn’t deGrom when Cherington reportedly asked Alderson about his availability in 2012. The 2010 ninth-round pick out of Stetson University was on the cusp of turning 24 and just missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Plus, the Red Sox since have won two more World Series titles — in 2013 and 2018 — so their inability to land the current Mets ace didn’t set back Boston too much.

Still, deGrom would look pretty nice atop Boston’s rotation right now, especially with the Red Sox off to a hot start and Chris Sale returning to the pitching staff later this summer.

Oh, what could have been.

Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images
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