After opting out of his contract with the New York Mets, Jacob deGrom is a free agent for the first time in his career. He can talk to the 29 other teams and try to work out a deal.
While the grass is sometimes greener on the other side, I do not believe that to be the case when it comes to Jacob deGrom.
He needs the Mets, and the Mets need him.
Why Jacob deGrom needs the Mets
Jacob deGrom opted out of his contract after spending the first nine years of his career with the Mets. In that time he's established himself as the best pitcher in the game and one of the best pitchers in Mets history.
He's won two Cy Youngs and has won the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. There are more deGrom jerseys at Citi Field than any other player right now. He has people singing Simple Man when he pitches. He's beloved by the entire fanbase.
While most of deGrom's tenure in Flushing has been nothing short of a fairy tale, the last two seasons have been filled with frustration.
After an absurd start to his 2021 season when deGrom went7-2 with a 1.08 ERA in his first 15 starts, he was shut down due to various arm injuries.
After spending the offseason healthy, deGrom hurt himself again in Spring Training. He didn't get back until August. He made just 11 starts. He's made just 26 starts in the last two seasons.
With deGrom looking for record-setting money, that takes most teams out of the running for his services. In fact, outside of the Braves and Rangers what other teams have he even been linked to?
The Braves reportedly aren't interested at the money he's looking for. Will the Rangers really spend the money needed to sign deGrom away from the Mets? The Rangers won just 68 games last season, does a deGrom signing really spring them into contention? The Rangers play in Texas and train in Arizona. He'd be further away from home in Florida than he would be with the Mets.
The Mets are a team with an owner who's willing to spend money and are coming off of a 101-win team. He spent all of these years on bad Mets teams and becomes a free agent after they finally become good. The Mets have the pieces and the money needed to be good for a long time. deGrom should want to be a part of it instead of going to Texas and pitching meaningless games far away from home.
Why the Mets need Jacob deGrom
The Mets need for Jacob deGrom is clear. They need an ace. Right now, the Mets rotation would include Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Joey Lucchesi. It's safe to say it needs a lot of work.
This free agency class has three aces on the market in deGrom, Justin Verlander, and Carlos Rodon. Verlander is 40 and is coming off of two straight seasons missed due to Tommy John. The Mets would need to sign him to a massive deal to convince him to leave Houston.
Carlos Rodon is coming off his best season, the only season in which he's made 30 starts. deGrom before the last two seasons was consistently a 30+ start pitcher.
Every pitcher is at risk of injury, but deGrom hasn't torn anything with all of the injury problems he's had. Verlander has. Rodon has a history of not being able to make his starts.
Injuries are impossible to predict and when he does pitch, deGrom is the best in the game. The Mets should want him to be a career Met. They have a clear need in the rotation. With there not being much of a market for his services, it makes too much sense. Just make it happen, please.