A tie — or shut to it — goes to the Mets.
That, no less than, is the organizational perception as Mets brass take into account Jacob deGrom and whether or not the ace right-hander will return subsequent season.
A free agent after opting out of his contract, deGrom is searching for a brand new deal that will place him as MLB’s highest-paid pitcher, forward of the Mets’ Max Scherzer. The Mets have acquired sufficient indications from deGrom’s camp, in accordance to a supply, that they believe the two-time Cy Young award winner needs to stay, supplied there is not a major discrepancy in affords.
But can the staff and participant get on the similar wavelength, and the way lengthy will the Mets look forward to deGrom as they give the impression of being to fill their rotation for subsequent season? The excessive finish of the free-agent marketplace for beginning pitchers contains names corresponding to Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon and Japanese ace Kodai Senga. In addition, the Mets have to resolve how aggressively to pursue Chris Bassitt, a free agent who was their most constant starter final season. Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco are the solely full-time members of the 2022 rotation underneath contract for subsequent yr, with David Peterson and Tylor Megill prospects for elevated roles.
The Mets seem keen to give deGrom a comparatively quick contract that might embrace choices for extra seasons based mostly on reaching sure incentives. The Mets don’t view a four- or five-year deal (and even three years assured is perhaps stretching it) as a prudent funding on a 34-year-old pitcher who has missed important parts of the final two seasons with accidents. Scherzer’s contract with the Mets holds a $43.3 million common annual worth, and the staff might be keen to surpass that determine for deGrom. But if deGrom receives longer-term affords, the Mets could flip in a special route.
A supply mentioned deGrom locations a excessive worth on profitable and believes the Mets have reached a spot the place they will compete for the World Series frequently. DeGrom has additionally informed teammates previous and current — as The Post has reported — that he is completely satisfied taking part in for the Mets.
DeGrom, who resides along with his household in DeLand, Fla., has informed confidants he would love to transfer full-time to the location of his subsequent staff. It was identified to deGrom that, as somebody who enjoys the open air, areas of Westchester County might present him with loads of house in a country setting.
The Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees are amongst the different groups that might be in play for deGrom, whose earlier deal known as for him to obtain $32.5 million subsequent season.
Verlander is a outstanding chance for the Mets if deGrom leaves, and a supply mentioned the staff is contemplating the veteran right-hander, who final week received his third American League Cy Young award.
Although Verlander will flip 40 throughout spring coaching and there might be hesitation to topping the rotation with one other older pitcher (Scherzer is 38), the Mets additionally see the alternative for a brief, probably high-impact contract that will put the staff in place for speedy success. Verlander opted out of a contract with the Astros that will have paid him $25 million subsequent season.
The lefty Rodon, who will flip 30 subsequent month, might be observing the largest general contract for a beginning pitcher this winter. Last season, Rodon pitched to a 2.88 ERA in 31 begins for the Giants with 237 strikeouts in 178 innings.
Senga, who will flip 30 in January, includes a split-fingered fastball that helped him strike out 27.5 p.c of the batters he confronted final season for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball.