3) NY Mets pitcher Justin Verlander has Jacob deGrom’s cleats to fill
Once Jacob deGrom officially left the Mets for the Texas Rangers there was only one move to make. The Mets did it by throwing a Brinks truck at Justin Verlander. There is no more obvious lateral move out there in Major League Baseball this offseason. One ace has been replaced by another.
The pair of cleats Verlander will fill weren’t quite as large last year as they had been in the past. deGrom was 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts for the Mets last season. A shorter and much less dominant version of the longtime New York ace had many feeling okay when he left. Replacing him with the reigning American League Cy Young winner made it even more digestible.
Verlander won the AL Cy Young in each of his last two full seasons. In the other season, 2018, he was the runner-up. He made only one start in 2020 and missed all of the 2021 campaign. Returning in 2022 with one of his most dominant years yet, Mets fans are correct to believe he has plenty left to offer.
As confident as we are, Verlander is 40 and father time will catch up eventually. His presence isn’t all the team is asking for. He needs to go out there and give them a full season. Surpassing recent deGrom performances isn’t out of the question. It doesn’t change the fact that this new ace in Queens has the biggest cleats of all to fill.