MLB Rumors: Top 4 Suitors For Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom is one of the greatest pitchers of this generation. All he needed to do was prove that he could stay healthy again after a year out of action. That, he did. He posted a 3.08 ERA after his return to the New York Mets at midseason (though half a run higher than his lifetime 2.52 mark), with a ridiculous 14.3 K/9 and an equally silly 0.75 WHIP. 

deGrom,34, has made it clear that he'll be exercising the opt-out in his contract, a deal that would have paid him $30.5M in 2023. Instead, he'll be hitting the free agent market, looking for a deal that's likely to surpass his teammate Max Scherzer's 3-year, $130M contract.

With the help of Mark Feinsand of, let's have a look at the Top 4 most likely suitors for the two-time Cy Young Award winner on the free agent market.

New York Mets

Duh. Yes, this one is pretty obvious. Owner Steve Cohen has the money, and the Mets have history on their side, being the only team deGrom has ever known throughout his legendary 9-year career. 

Mets GM Billy Eppler seems to feel fairly confident. But deGrom, when asked after the Mets were eliminated from the postseason last week if he expects to be back in New York, replied “I have no clue.”

Los Angeles Dodgers

This one, too, is fairly obvious, as there's rarely a big-name free agent who isn't linked to the possibility of a Dodgers signing. And with injuries wreaking havoc on their rotation this season (and Walker Buehler to miss the '23 season), the need to fortify the rotation will be fresh on the Dodgers' minds come the offseason. Not to mention that Clayton Kershaw considered retirement last winter, and there's no telling how much longer he'll continue to pitch.

If deGrom does leave the Mets, but still wants a chance to contend, the Dodgers would be as viable an option as any.

San Diego Padres

GM AJ Preller never shies away from trying to pull off a blockbuster deal (see: Soto, Juan), so signing deGrom would certainly not scare him off. 

The Padres will also have some money to spend, as Feinsend reports that $50M will be coming off the books at season's end. Two starters, Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea, will become free agents, and two more, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, will do the same after 2023. 

Spending big on the starting rotation will never be easier than this winter for Preller.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers spent half a billion dollars on bats last offseason, and they're ready to open the vaults for pitching this winter. According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Rangers are targeting deGrom

As for the crosstown New York Yankees coming in to steal deGrom from the Mets? That's unlikely, as according to Heyman, the Yankees will not be going after him. 

One other team to keep an eye on, though their payroll is already going through the roof, is the Atlanta Braves. There's been some speculation that deGrom might prefer to play closer to his home in north Florida

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports