MLB Rumors: Braves Named Favorites To Land Mets' Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom
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Tristin McKinstry

New York Mets superstar Jacob deGrom is one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball when he's healthy. The 33-year-old has spent his entire career with the Mets organization. However, that could change as soon as this upcoming offseason.

The four-time All-Star has an opt-out clause in his contract, meaning he could become a free agent in November. And ESPN insider Buster Olney shared some insight on where deGrom may end up should he hit the open market this fall.

The Favorites

Jacob deGrom
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Olney took to Twitter and revealed which team is believed to be the favorites, according to sources he's spoken to around the game.

"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 Braves will be the favorites to land him," Olney tweeted.

This would be a nightmare scenario for the Mets. The Braves are a division rival. Losing one of their star pitchers is one thing. Losing him to a team in their own division is a different blow entirely.

Stated Intent

Jacob deGrom
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Things can always change. However, deGrom has stated in the past that he fully intends to exercise his opt-out clause and see what's there for him on the market.

“For me, I don’t want that to be any distraction,” deGrom said back in March, via the New York Times. “I’m excited about this team. And I’ve said it before: Love being a Met and it would be really cool to be one for my entire career. The plan is to exercise that option and then be in constant contact in the off-season with the Mets and Steve Cohen.”

Staying Healthy

Jacob deGrom
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One of the biggest things when it comes to deGrom is his health. He has struggled with injuries throughout his career and has yet to pitch in the majors in 2022 due to a shoulder injury picked up in spring training.

However, the four-time All-Star seems close to a return. He recently pitched in a rehab start for the Single-A affiliate St. Lucie Mets, where he shined. deGrom pitched 1.2 innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced and hitting 100 miles an hour on six of those pitches.

"I felt like I had control of everything -- the main thing was trying to locate the fastball and pitch off that," deGrom told reporters following the game. "Everything felt good… [My shoulder] feels 100 percent. Because it was bone ... you can’t really push it. I had to wait until the bone was healed and move forward from there.”

A November Showdown

Jacob deGrom
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deGrom opting for free agency looks more than likely at this point, despite the Mets' success this season. However, one thing is abundantly clear: if the 34-year-old leaves Queens for the first time in his big league career, it won't be a money issue.

Mets owner Steve Cohen has shown a willingness to spend big since he took control of the franchise in 2020. And it doesn't seem as if Cohen is going to stop short at shelling out the cash for deGrom.

“At the appropriate time, we’re going to play this season and then we’ll figure that out,” Cohen told the New York Times back in March. “Jake will do what he does. We love Jake.”