Jacob deGrom Plans to Opt Out of His Mets Deal After This Season and Reach Free Agency

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Jacob deGrom Plans to Opt Out of His Mets Deal After This Season and Reach Free Agency

Chicago Cubs

Jacob deGrom, when he is healthy, is not only the best pitcher in baseball, he is one of the best pitchers of all-time. As in, the current version of deGrom – when healthy – is … perfection? I mean, I’m not trying to be weird about it, but that’s truly what he has made himself into.

But that “when healthy” caveat is obviously not nothing, since deGrom missed half the season last year with various arm issues, and will turn 34 in June. Still, if deGrom does pitch healthily this year, and if his teammate Max Scherzer can get a whopping three-year, $130 million deal at age 37, how freaking much would deGrom get if he were a free agent after this season?

WELL WE MIGHT FIND OUT:

Man it would be so much fun to follow a Jacob deGrom free agency (to say nothing of dreaming the impossible dream that he could land on your favorite team … ).

You do have to keep some things in mind, though. For one thing, of COURSE deGrom is going to opt out at the end of this season if there’s no extension. His deal has just one more guaranteed year after this season (at $32.5M), and then a team option for another $32.5M in 2024. That’s it. So even if deGrom wanted to stay with the Mets forever, he’s gonna opt out. That’s just not even a question.

The ACTUAL question is whether he means this. Whether he means he absolutely will not negotiate right now, and instead wants to hit free agency no matter what. I tend to think he means it insofar as he’d be fine with that outcome, but I also think that it’s some convenient leverage when you’ve got the spendiest owner in baseball. “Want to keep me long-term? Well, you’re gonna have to figure out what my insane free agent price would be, because that’s what it will take.”

Steve Cohen and the Mets did it once before with Francisco Lindor (his 10-year, $341 million deal looked like a true free agent contract – or better! – when signed), so again, why wouldn’t deGrom talk like this right now?

So I still think those extension talks are coming. And then, if no deal, they’ll come again after the season before that opt-out deadline. I do not think deGrom will actually hit full free agency. I just don’t see it. But dang do I WANT to see it.

Oh, as far as deGrom’s health goes, he says he’s completely fine:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.