Atlanta Braves, MLB Free Agency, New York Mets

Behold! The Mets’ absolute worst nightmare for Jacob deGrom should he opt out

New York Mets fans better prepare for the worst-case scenario should Jacob deGrom opt out.

Injured New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom could opt out of his contract after the end of the season.

While deGrom has not pitched for the Mets since last year, the four-time All-Star has won two NL Cy Young Awards and took home Rookie of the Year honors in a New York uniform. However, the 34-year-old right-hander has had a hard time staying healthy. As dominant as he has been, it may keep him out of Cooperstown, much like his former teammate, David Wright. What if he opts out?

ESPN’s Buster Olney dropped an absolute bombshell of a tweet on Saturday afternoon with, “there is a perception in some corners of the industry that if Jacob deGrom follows through with what he said in the spring and opts out of his Mets’ contract, the [Atlanta] Braves will be the favorites to land him.”

Though the Mets are arch rivals with the Atlanta Braves, deGrom grew up in Braves Country. He played his college baseball at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, the hometown of none other than Chipper Jones. DeGrom pitching for the Braves would have to make Mets fans sick to their stomaches. This would be equivalent of Braves fans watching Tom Glavine pitching for the Mets.

Would deGrom really turn heel on the Mets to sign presumably a one-year contract with Atlanta?

Jacob deGrom may opt out of New York Mets deal and sign with Atlanta Braves

As hilarious as it would be to see deGrom win games for the only team that matters, I hate seeing players leave the only franchise they have ever known in free agency. I would be a total hypocrite to say otherwise. As painful as the Freddie Freeman departure was, baseball at its core is a business. The question is if deGrom opting out makes sense for him financially. That is unlikely.

DeGrom has a no-trade clause in his Mets contract and a player opt-out built in for 2022. He had one baked in as well after the 2021 MLB season, but decided to stay put with the Mets. DeGrom is slated to make $30.5 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024 should New York exercise its club option. If he plays out his deal, deGrom will hit free agency in 2025 at age-37.

In short, deGrom is not getting a multi-year deal as rich with the Braves as the one he has with the Mets. Atlanta may be more willing to spend money at this stage of its competitive life cycle, but can still be outbid by bigger market teams, such as the Mets. Financially, it does not any sense at all to walk away from that guaranteed money from the Mets. Then again, deGrom might want out.

If deGrom opts out and signs with the arch rival Braves, expect all of Mets Twitter to catch on fire.

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