Jacob deGrom has made himself very clear numerous times. He plans to opt out of his contract with the New York Mets and enter free agency this offseason. This is a move that makes a lot of sense for his career as this is probably going to be his last chance to really cash in. His age and durability concerns make it hard to believe he'd be able to cash in if he opted in.
Even with the opt-out I believe the Mets should be favorites to retain the best pitcher in baseball. They have an owner who has expressed that he wants him back, and deGrom himself has even said he wants to remain a Met for life.
If the Mets don't end up keeping him, I'm terrified about the Braves as an option. deGrom grew up a Braves fan living in Florida. Signing with Atlanta would bring him closer to home, and they can afford to give him a lot of money.
The Braves have their key players locked up on very team friendly deals so they can afford to give deGrom a short term deal worth a lot of money in AAV. Whether they'd top the Mets or would offer him enough to sway him to leave New York remains to be seen.
Atlanta isn't the only other suitor. deGrom should have plenty of options to choose from, and a couple that make a little too much sense for comfort.
1) Threat to sign Jacob deGrom away this offseason: Los Angeles Dodgers
Could it really happen? The Dodgers already have a super team. They're going to win well over 100 games this season despite Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw missing substantial time this season.
The Dodgers have the league's highest payroll this season and will be getting major relief this offseason. Trea Turner is hitting free agency and might leave. Guys like David Price, Joey Gallo, and Craig Kimbrel are making a lot of money and can leave as well.
The Dodgers seem to just find a way to add on lucrative contracts and just make it work. They're the only real team that can keep up with the Mets financially, and that's scary to think about.
They traded for Mookie Betts and extended him two years ago. They signed Freddie Freeman last offseason. They lost out against the Mets in the bidding war for Max Scherzer. Could they want revenge and steal deGrom?
The Dodgers are one of the few teams I feel would be willing to take the risk on the older and injury prone deGrom. Whether deGrom would want to go cross-country is another question but the Dodgers are a team that can pay him and remain competitive, which has to be an intriguing option for deGrom.