Jacob deGrom leaving the New York Mets might have felt disastrous a few years ago. Right now, it feels more like a reality we may have to face.
deGrom is, after all, choosing to opt out of his contract. It makes sense why he would. He’ll make far more money long-term by snatching more guaranteed years than he would to ride out the end of his Mets contract.
Replacing deGrom won’t be easy, but there is a free agent that would be the most obvious one to do it. Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros could be reunited with Max Scherzer from their days with the Detroit Tigers. This time, as grizzled veterans, maybe they win a championship together.
The most obvious Jacob deGrom replacement for the Mets to sign is Justin Verlander
Verlander is expected to opt out of his contract with the Astros, too. Considering he had a Cy Young-worthy campaign, it would make sense for him to capitalize and get a few more dollars than the $25 million he’d take by staying in Houston.
Money is no object to Mets owner Steve Cohen. He’s paying Scherzer a filthy amount. Verlander could be the next one.
While comparing deGrom and Verlander, we do see differences. It’s difficult to trust deGrom long-term based on his health. With Verlander, there is no-long term. Father time is catching up with him and a one or two-year deal is all the Mets or anyone else should offer him anyway.
Going from deGrom to Verlander is a short-term plan yet a possibly better one. Verlander has been far-more tested in the postseason. That’s not to suggest deGrom wouldn’t mow through any postseason lineup. He was the only starter to actually win a playoff game for the Mets in 2022.
Fans seem to have accepted that deGrom might have already thrown his last pitch for the Mets. If so, the only free agent comparable for them to sign is Verlander.