Four Teams Jacob deGrom Could Sign With In MLB Free Agency

deGrom has been a member of the Mets since 2010


Nov 3, 2022

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, while under a five-year contract worth $137 million with the New York Mets, can elect to decline his $30.5 million dollar player option and test the waters in the free agent market.

Before the 2022 season began, deGrom made those intentions clear, while also acknowledging the value in reaming a member of the Mets for the entirety of his major league career. The Mets selected deGrom with the 272nd overall selection in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft.

“I’ve said it before,” deGrom said, told ESPN in March. “(I) love being a Met — think it would be really cool to be one for my entire career.”

While in recent years, deGrom’s numbers have taken a toll on production, making under 15 starts (38 total) in each of the last three seasons, the veteran starter remains among the strongest rotation options on the market.

With that being said, here are four teams that deGrom could sign with this offseason:

Los Angeles Dodgers
After an underwhelming end to a year where the Dodgers finished the regular season as the best team in baseball, accumulating 111 regular season victories, just to follow with a 1-3 brief postseason appearance against the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles is under pressure to respond in 2023.

While the Dodgers — who are known to spare no expense when it comes to roster upgrades — have a strong staff of pitchers already, never mind rotation, deGrom has their number in matchups. So, perhaps adding a known kryptonite with some postseason experience is just what the Dodgers need in order to get over the hump next season.

In 11 career starts against the Dodgers, deGrom has notched a 2.71 ERA with 69 strikeouts. In each of those starts, deGrom has gone at least six innings in nine of those starts

In five career playoff starts, deGrom has gone 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA while allowing 10 earned runs with 37 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

Even Dodgers star outfielder Mookie Betts gave deGrom props during a regular-season meeting against the Mets back on Aug. 31 at Citi Field.

“He’s pretty much the best, maybe the best to ever pitch,” Betts said, per SNY Mets video.

Atlanta Braves
After winning the World Series just a year ago, the Braves are still well within their contention window to make a return next season.

Their follow-up campaign was strong, winning 111 games in the regular season — tied with the Mets — for the second-best record in the National League. With a starting rotation led by right-handers Kyle Wright (21 wins) and Max Fried (14 wins) — both of which notched 180-plus innings pitched — an addition of deGrom could only make Atlanta’s starting staff among the strongest in baseball.

During the postseason, in which the Braves lasted just four games against the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta’s pitching registered the highest ERA (5.82) amongst playoff teams from the NL. In three of those four games, the Phillies tackled no less than seven runs in each contest with the offense cake walking their way to the NL Championship Series round.

Having spent his entire career with the Mets, deGrom has an abundance of experience in the NL East along with 16 career appearances in Atlanta’s home field (11 at Truist Park, five at Turner Field).

Boston Red Sox
After a playoff miss following their last-place finish in the American League East, the Red Sox front office has a lot to consider before embarking on the 2023 season.

With seven pitchers making up for the majority of the starter innings, the Red Sox need to establish their rotation. Nick Pivetta served as the innings leader while Michael Wacha blossomed amid his debut campaign with Boston. Southpaw Chris Sale made his commitment, opting in for the final two seasons of his five-year contract worth $145 million dollars, initially signed back in 2019.

The veteran value goes without explanation in regards to deGrom. Prior to the 2020 season, deGrom had recorded 30-plus starts in four of five seasons from 2015 to 2019. The 34-year-old has also held his ERA below 3.50 for the last five consecutive seasons.

Adding a dominant veteran like deGrom, potentially alongside Wacha, gives the Red Sox more room to continue to test the waters with 23-year-old Brayan Bello and relieves any pressure on Sale to return from his current wrist injury that ended his campaign in August.

New York Mets
The safe choice of the bunch.

Last season, the Mets led the NL East with 111 wins and fell short against the Padres in the wild card round. As previously noted, deGrom values the idea of living out the entirety of his career in a Mets uniform as does team owner Steve Cohen.

“We love Jacob, and I think he’s the best pitcher in baseball,” Cohen told the New York Post in August. “We’ll do whatever we can to make sure he stays. But it’s his decision, not ours. … We’re going to sit down with Jake and try to figure it out at the end of the season.”

Granted, both sides expressing mutual interest in a reunion is far from a guarantee that deGrom will return to the Mets next season. With the Mets having options to spend on big-name game-changers such as reliever Edwin Diaz following his career-year and AL home run champ Aaron Judge, there’s anything but certainty surrounding deGrom’s future with the organization.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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