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Jacob deGrom Rumors: Rangers May Pursue Mets Star If He Tests Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 23, 2022

Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers may pursue New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom if the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner declines his $32.5 million player option for 2023 and becomes a free agent next offseason.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post provided the news Thursday.

"The Rangers are intent on adding a big-time starter, and word is they may go for Jacob deGrom. Folks marvel at how MLB’s best pitcher is throwing better than ever off his 13-month layoff, and while there aren’t a lot of teams ready to take a $40 million gamble, the Rangers might.

"Rangers baseball president Chris Young wouldn’t address any specific pitching targets but said they 'will leave no stone unturned' in their search to upgrade pitching a year after they significantly upgraded offense."

DeGrom, 34, has posted a 5-2 record, a 2.32 ERA, a 0.61 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 54.1 innings over nine starts this season. He missed the first half of the season after suffering a stress reaction on his scapula.

Since 2018, deGrom has gone 37-23 with a 1.97 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP and a 12.2 K/9 rate.

DeGrom told reporters in spring training that he planned to opt out of his contract and enter free agency. However, he also made clear that he was interested in sticking around long-term with the Mets.

The ace won't have a shortage of suitors, though. Texas isn't shy about spending big money and notably paid $500 million for middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason.

However, the 65-84 Rangers' pitching staff sports the fourth-highest ERA in the American League. They need more help in the rotation and bullpen to get back in the playoff mix, and deGrom could go a long way toward making that happen.

At the same time, Mets owner Steve Cohen isn't shy about spending money either. New York has the second-highest payroll in baseball these days behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As Heyman noted on Sept. 1, "Mets owner Steve Cohen told The Post he wants to keep deGrom, and you have to think he has that ability." That's despite the fact that Heyman also wrote that some believe deGrom "will shoot to become the first $50 million player."

Cohen brought in big talents such as Max Scherzer and Francisco Lindor to fat contracts that have enabled the team to reside in first place in the National League East.

Keeping deGrom around should certainly be No. 1 on Cohen's to-do list this offseason as the Mets look to create a sustained run of playoff success. The Rangers and other teams will obviously be in pursuit, but the Mets have the deep pockets to get it done as well.

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