Can you imagine if his agent had told Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler that Texas had offered three years at $43 million per year? The Mets would have felt compelled to match that, and overpay a pitcher for past accomplishments.
Not only did the Rangers offer deGrom a highly irrational five years and $185 million, with a chance for it to be more, but they didn’t give the Mets a chance to match.
For Mets fans, it hurts. That is totally reasonable; you invest emotional and often financial capital in these people, only to be reminded time and again that they do not return those feelings.
But for the Mets itself, it represents an opportunity to better the rotation by signing two pitchers to less risky deals. As SNY reported earlier, the pursuit of American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is now “front and center.”
According to sources, the team will also circle back to agent Scott Boras about his client Carlos Rodon, with whom they spoke via Zoom this week. The Mets are determined to land one of those two aces.
They will also acquire a mid-rotation starter. According to sources, some of the main options in that category are Andrew Heaney, Kyle Gibson, Taijuan Walker, Ross Stripling and Jose Quintana -- though Quintana’s market might exceed that salary slot and drift closer to the multi-year deals signed by Zach Eflin (four years, $40 million), and expected to be offered to Jameson Taillon. Same with Kodai Senga.
The Mets like the idea of signing pitchers to shorter-term, high average-annual value deals, in order to preserve future flexibility.