1. Jacob deGrom
This would be … insane. Likely? No. Mets owner Steve Cohen is probably going to back up a dump truck full of cash into Jacob deGrom’s living room if the right-hander opts out. He has the resources to do so.
But you never know.
The 34-year-old is under a bargain deal thanks to the previous Mets regime and may want to truly explore free agency for the first time in his career when he opts out (many insiders believe he will because somebody will give him more).
Despite injury troubles the last two years, DeGrom has a sub 2.00 ERA and 0.55 WHIP in his last 20 starts. The Mets could be barreling toward something special this year, which will further increase deGrom’s value if he strings together some dominant postseason outings.
Does he have any reason to be overly loyal to the Mets, who, up until this year, have largely failed to give him run support from 2014-2021? Max Scherzer left LA to go to the Mets. Why wouldn’t deGrom leave the Mets to go to LA for the money and championship pedigree?
We’re not just making this up, either. This week, SNY’s Andy Martino reported that deGrom “could tempt another team to offer a contract above what the Mets consider rational.” Are the Dodgers willing to be irrational? They kind of were with Trevor Bauer! Why wouldn’t they be with one of the most dominant pitchers in history?
The Dodgers have made themselves extremely financially flexible for the foreseeable future, so they could afford to go a little wild in a deGrom pursuit. And that could change everything for their free agency plans, since the starting pitching market was expected to be weak prior to these player opt-outs coming into focus.