The new Freddy Kreuger movie doesn’t take place on Elm Street. It takes place at 41 Tom Seaver Way and the plot revolves around Jacob deGrom opting out of his contract with the New York Mets and then pitching for another team.
It’s a scenario Mets fans aren’t eager to see potentially play out. Although some have accepted this possibility, it would be a sour ending to his time in New York.
Fortunately, this winter’s free agent class of starting pitchers is pretty good even without including deGrom and other players with opt-outs; although I have included one likely to use his on this list. The Mets have deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Chris Bassitt all probably headed toward free agency. Where could the Mets possibly turn to replace one of their greats and maybe even the other pair?
1) NY Mets can replace Jacob deGrom with Mike Clevinger
There are a couple of pitchers on the Padres the Mets could look at. Some would require a trade. A guy like Sean Manaea would be a big enough downgrade from deGrom for him to not make this list. Mike Clevinger, on the other hand, fits the description we’re looking for.
Best known for his days in Cleveland, Clevinger missed all of 2021 due to injury and is working his way back into the San Diego rotation this year. He has done a fine job at it. It seems he has picked up right where he left off.
Clevinger has had a much more productive career than Musgrove but there is something important to note: health. He missed all of the 2021 season due to Tommy John Surgery. With his 32nd birthday on the way in December, he’s a little older than Musgrove and maybe not quite as ready to give more awesome years. His best days may have already passed.
However, Clevinger might be a consideration on a shorter deal. If he can continue to stay on the field for the Padres this year, he’d be a more affordable option than someone like Musgrove whose age begs for something at least close to a five-year deal.
There’s no doubt Clevinger is in a position to earn himself a big payday in the coming offseason as long as he pitches well in the regular season and possibly even into October.