The New York Mets knew that retaining Jacob deGrom would represent a challenge because several pitching-starved teams were after his services. They were still considered the favorites to land him, though, so seeing the ace signing with the Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world, including the Mets.
The Mets not only lost deGrom to free agency: Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt are also in the open market, and the latter wants a long-term deal that New York doesn’t want to give away (just like what happened with deGrom).
deGrom put pen to paper on a five-year, $185 million contract, leaving general manager Billy Eppler with a huge hole in his rotation.
According to recent reports, one of the options being discussed internally by the Mets is left-hander Andrew Heaney. The southpaw was terrible for the Yankees after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels before the 2021 trade deadline (7.32 Era).
The Mets need to focus on adding top pitching
However, he had a really nice season in 2022 with the Los Angeles Dodgers: the 31-year-old hurler went 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 appearances (14 starts) this season and showed why he has always been considered a high-potential pitcher.
According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, “Heaney was among the many Zoom interviews the Mets have done in recent weeks. Eppler knows him well from five years together with the LAA. Heaney had terrible few months in NY with the NYY. But last year struck out 35.5 percent of batters faced for LAD, albeit in only 72.2IP.”
Sherman explained that the Mets’ plan is to add two starters. “Best scenario land Rodon or Verlander to replace deGrom, then get a second from among group of Bassitt, Walker, Senga, Eovaldi, Taillon, Heaney, etc. In worst case, add two from second group and intensify trying to retain Nimmo or add more bats.”
Sounds like a solid plan, but the Mets really need to do whatever it takes to sign either Rodon or Verlander now that deGrom is gone.