Facing the possibility of losing Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets are keeping their eyes on other top-tier starting pitchers available in free agency.
Per SNY.tv's Andy Martino, the Mets are "considering" making a run at Justin Verlander and plan to pursue Japanese star Koudai Senga.
Martino noted the Mets front office has been floating the idea of signing Verlander to a short-term deal with a high annual salary, similar to Max Scherzer's deal, for months.
Even though Martino did say the Mets remain engaged with deGrom's camp, there does appear to be significant interest in the two-time National League Cy Young winner from other teams.
MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported last week the Texas Rangers have interest in the top of the free-agent pitching market, including deGrom and Carlos Rodón.
The Rangers seem poised to make a big splash in free agency for the second successive year. They signed Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray to deals totaling $556 million, but the team still finished 68-94 in large part because its rotation was one of the worst in MLB.
Texas was previously linked to Clayton Kershaw, but The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the left-hander is nearing a one-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Verlander and deGrom are in somewhat similar positions this offseason. Both players come with injury concerns, but their short-term upside is so huge it could completely transform a rotation.
Injuries have limited deGrom to 156.1 innings over the past two seasons combined. The right-hander did pitch well in 11 starts this season with a 3.08 ERA and 102 strikeouts.
Verlander is the favorite to win his third career American League Cy Young award. He led MLB with a 1.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 175 innings during the 2022 regular season after missing all of last year following Tommy John surgery.
Senga, 29, has spent 11 seasons pitching for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Nippon Professional Baseball. He has a 2.59 ERA with 1,252 strikeouts in 1,089 innings in 224 NPB games.
The Mets seem like they are going to be aggressive this offseason after winning 101 games in 2022. They lost to the San Diego Padres in the NL Wild Card series.