What’s next for the Mets with degroom gone?

NEW YORK — Jacob DeGrom is now a Texas guard, after shocking the baseball world by agreeing to a five-year, $185 million contract. In the end, according to sources, the Mets didn’t even put in their best final showing against their former star.

How do they pivot from here?

The 34-year-old right-hander has been a potential focus of the Mets’ offseason plan, since it still features a rotation with multiple holes. But he wasn’t the only player available on the open market, and the timing of his signing, just days before the Winter Meetings start Sunday, gives the Mets ample opportunity to find a replacement.

Right now, the Mets’ 2023 rotation looks like this:

That’s not enough for a team with championship aspirations, and Mets officials know that. So who might they target to get DeGrom out of the picture?

Option #1: Justin Verlander
The good:
Not only is Verlander a potential Hall of Famer, but he’s also coming off the best season of his career – a Cy Young campaign that saw him produce a 1.75 ERA over 28 starts after missing all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Reuniting with Scherzer at the top of the rotation could give the Mets an even more powerful combination of Scherzer and deGrom. More than that, Verlander will likely be willing to sign a short-term, high-mid annual value deal that won’t handicap the Mets in the coming seasons.

bad: Verlander will be 40 years old on opening day. While it’s as good a bet as anyone to stay strong in their 40s, it’s getting harder and harder with each passing year. At some point, Verlander production will head south; If next year was in New York, that would be a huge mistake.

Prospect: very high. Verlander always looked like the Mets’ primary backup option to DeGrom. Now that DeGrom is a guard, Verlander could become New York’s number one target.

Option number 2: Carlos Rodon
The good:
Unlike Verlander, Rodon is only 29 years old. And he gave an ace-like performance when he was healthy. Over the past two years, Rodón has gone 27-13 with a 2.67 ERA for the White Sox and Giants, making back-to-back All-Star teams and finishing in the top six in Cy Young voting each year.

bad: If Verlander presents a high risk for life, Rodon is an equally high risk for injury. His history includes elbow, bicep, shoulder and wrist ailments, including Tommy John surgery in 2019. Rodon has been a different player since that operation, but his 178 total innings this year was a career high. Because of his age, Rodon will be seeking a longer-term deal than de Groom or Verlander.

Prospect: Since the Mets value payroll flexibility from year to year, Rodon seems less likely than Verlander. But it’s a solid choice.

Option #3: Kodai Senga
The good:
With a fastball clocked at 101 mph and a 2.85 ERA in Japan, Senga is as attractive as any player to come out of Japan since Shohei Ohtani. It has a higher spin potential.

bad: Untested at the highest levels of the sport, Senga is an unknown number when it comes to his ability to retire major league hitters consistently. He can be an ace or something much lower, which makes his acquisition dangerous for any team.

Prospect: It is possible that the Mets could acquire Senga, Verlander or Rodón, depending on the format of the contracts. If nothing else, there is real intrigue here.

the rest
There are many alternatives to these pitchers. According to sources, the Mets have recently made contact with Chris Bassett, Jameson Tellon, and Andrew Heene, among others. Taijuan Walker remains a possibility for a return, and Nathan Ivaldi is on the Mets’ radar. The Mets will explore at least some of those possibilities at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

#Whats #Mets #degroom

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