The Cubs Are “Among the Teams” That Could Be in Play for Jacob deGrom

I’ve been saying for months – and dreaming for years – that the Chicago Cubs should take a chance on Jacob deGrom in free agency. Yes, there’s a substantial cost. Yes, there’s substantial injury risk. And yes, there’s a substantial likelihood he won’t prefer to sign with the Cubs right now. But the chance to sign the greatest pitcher on the planet doesn’t come around too often. When it does, you AT LEAST TRY.

But, much to my early offseason sadness, the Cubs haven’t been mentioned in any rumors connecting them to deGrom.

Until now.

From the New York Post’s Mike Puma:

A source said deGrom places a high value on winning and believes the Mets have reached a place at which they can compete for the World Series regularly. DeGrom has also told teammates past and present — as The Post has reported — that he is happy playing for the Mets.

DeGrom, who resides with his family in DeLand, Fla., has told confidants he would like to move full-time to the location of his next team. It was pointed out to deGrom that, as someone who enjoys the outdoors, areas of Westchester County could provide him with plenty of space in a rustic setting.

The Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees are among the other teams that could be in play for deGrom, whose previous deal called for him to receive $32.5 million next season.

Mets, Rangers, Dodgers, Yankees, and Cubs. To be sure, it’s a who’s who of big market clubs that could spend a lot of money this offseason, so it’s possible that deGrom’s agent is just tossing some chum out there. After all, the report notes that if the contract offers are similar, deGrom might just prefer to return to the Mets. So maybe this is about kicking up the price tag on the Mets a bit.

But it’s notable that Puma reports even three guaranteed years from the Mets might be “stretching it.” They prefer to go even shorter, with vesting options that could make it longer if deGrom hits certain benchmarks.

To which I say …

Just go guarantee him three years, Cubs!

Again, I know the risks here on a guy who has missed as much time as he has over the past few years with multiple injuries. And at 34, he’s not at an age when injury issues tend to just go away.

But when he’s been able to pitch, this is a guy who has posted a 2.05 ERA and 2.14 FIP over 645.1 innings since 2018. His average fastball velocity has CLIMBED three miles per hour in that time, currently sitting at 98.9 mph. His strikeout rate in that time is 35.5%, against a walk rate of 5.1%. Those numbers the last two years are an obscene 44.0% and 3.4%, respectively.

He’s just unlike anyone else out there. If you have a chance to pursue Jacob deGrom, you do it. Whether he actually chooses your team or not, well, that’s a different story. BUT YOU TRY.

We’ll see if this winds up a stray mention that never goes anywhere, or whether the Cubs are actually going to be involved in the impact tier of the free agent pitching market. Let me make sure I’m not hiding the ball: deGrom is the guy I want. That’s the pitching risk I want to see the Cubs take. I really like Kodai Senga, and I think there are pitchers in that tier who are really interesting. I could be happy with the Cubs’ moves on that front this offseason. But deGrom is simply another animal entirely.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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