The New York Mets would love to bring back ace starter Jacob deGrom, but doing so would cost them a pretty penny. Can they afford him?
In theory, Steve Cohen is the richest owner in baseball so, yes, New York can afford to bring back Jacob deGrom, regardless of the asking price. But, the issue in this case is more about how high Cohen is willing to go, rather than if he has the money stowed away somewhere.
deGrom is one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy. Hell, he’s probably the best pitcher in baseball when healthy. But, his health has been in question of late. Just this season, he made only 11 appearances for the Mets.
Despite all of this, deGrom will get his money from some desperate owner. The Texas Rangers, for one, have already been identified as a potential suitor — and they’re willing to spend, as we found out last offseason.
What is Jacob deGrom’s asking price?
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, “Jacob deGrom is said by one GM to be seeking $40 million-plus. ‘He’ll get it, he’s the best,’ that GM said.”
The deal would make deGrom the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, joining Mets teammate Max Scherzer as a $40 million man. But unlike Scherzer, deGrom cannot be depended upon over the course of an entire season. This is the Mets dilemma as they enter a vital offseason.
Will the Mets pay Jacob deGrom what he wants?
Mets fans may not like this answer, but it’s tough to defend having two $40 million pitchers on the same payroll, especially when one of those pitchers made just 11 starts last season. deGrom’s injury concerns are very real, and it begs the question as to why New York would invest so much in just two players, when the rest of the roster quite clearly has holes.
The money saved by letting deGrom walk, or just not meeting his asking price, could be spent elsewhere to solidify the roster and make the 2023 Mets a better team overall, as painful as that may be.