SNY’s Andy Martino writes that righty ace Jacob deGrom’s openness to returning to the Mets is growing, with a friend of the pitcher saying that although he would’ve said the odds of deGrom returning to Queens were “zero” had he been asked during Spring Training, he would now say they are “50/50”.
deGrom is expected to opt-out of the remainder of his contract, joining teammates Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassitt, Edwin Diaz, and Taijuan Walker as key players filing for free agency this offseason. While this leaves the Mets with plenty of holes to fill this offseason, retaining deGrom is sure to be a top priority. The two time Cy Young award winner has posted some of the best numbers in baseball over the past few years, with a 2.05 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 645 1/3 innings since the start of the 2018 season. As that low inning total implies, however, deGrom has struggled to stay on the field in recent years, making just 26 starts across the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Those health struggles have done little to damage his reputation as the best pitcher in baseball, however, and he should find a strong market for this services this offseason in spite of them.
With at least 3 starting pitchers set to hit the market this offseason, and the possibility of a fourth if the team declines Carlos Carrasco’s club option, re-signing deGrom to accompany Max Scherzer atop the rotation would seem like a no-brainer for the Mets. That hasn’t stopped both sides from considering other options, however, and Martino notes that the Mets have considered making runs at signing Justin Verlander or even a trade for Shohei Ohtani to replace their ace. While the sides clearly aren’t entirely committed to each other at this moment, the fit between the two is undeniable, and Martino reports that Scherzer has privately made his desire for deGrom to remain with the team clear. As for deGrom, Martino reports that he is “enjoying the vibe around the Mets more than ever” this season.
Elsewhere in the National League…
- Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette took a look at Colorado’s pending free agents, and noted that the Rockies have particular interest in bringing righty reliever Carlos Estevez back into the fold next season. Estevez pitched to a 3.47 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in 57 innings for Colorado this season, good for an ERA+ of 135. With pitchers who can find success at Coors Field hard to come by and a need for veteran leadership in a mostly young, inexperienced bullpen, a reunion with Estevez would make a lot of sense for Colorado.
- MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato reports that righty reliever Steve Cishek is contemplating retirement. Cishek just completed his age 36 season, where he posted a 4.21 ERA in 66 1/3 innings for the Nationals. While his 2022 season was largely unimpressive, Cishek has posted a 2.98 ERA over the course of a career spanning 13 seasons and eight organizations. A player with his track record would surely be able to find a job somewhere, though it’s possible he may need to settle for a minor-league deal should he decide to continue his playing career.