Mets could turn to superstar Astros pitcher if Jacob deGrom falls through

Ryan Moran
justin verlander, yankees
Nov 3, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning in game five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets cannot exit this offseason without the top of their starting rotation addressed. The unknown surrounding the impending free agency of ace Jacob deGrom, of course, complicates things.

It seems as if things could go either way between deGrom and the Mets. Multiple teammates of deGrom have stated that he enjoys being a Met and wants to stay. With Steve Cohen, the Mets could very well offer up the best contract that deGrom gets, and he could easily stay.

On the other hand, there is also an unfortunate possibility he gets a loftier deal elsewhere. And whether it be the years of the deal or the average annual salary for an aging player, the Mets may not feel comfortable matching what deGrom commands elsewhere.

The Mets should have Justin Verlander in their offseason plans:

When it comes to their offseason plans, deGrom should be atop the Mets’ priority list. Should they, unfortunately, lose him, though, they need an immediate replacement with an elite starter at the top of their rotation.

After deGrom, the next players to focus in on have to be Carlos Rodon and Justin Verlander. With Verlander, in particular, while he is yet another older pitcher, few options out there will be better than him for a team trying to win now.

Ultimately, both deGrom and Verlander come with one concern. With deGrom, the main holdup is availability, and Verlander, age. So, either way, there is a calculated risk.

It was reported just a few days ago by Andy Martino of SNY that the Mets have discussed the idea of adding Verlander for some time to a similar type of deal they just gave Max Scherzer. Recent buzz also happens to suggest the Scherzer contract, based on their similar ages, is the type of deal that Verlander will look for.

Based on reports, it seems as if the Mets do ultimately think the Texas Rangers could be strong players for deGrom. If so, they would have to react swiftly.

There has been some recent speculation that Verlander sees “lucrative opportunities” with a select few teams, the Mets being one.

In the end, Verlander has to be near the top of the Mets’ free-agent priority list. For a team looking to take a step in the postseason toward the World Series next year, the Mets have got to be ready to pivot and add a true ace like Verlander if needed.