Come 2023, the starting rotation of the New York Mets may have a completely different look to it.
Aside from Max Scherzer, who will turn 39 next summer, the rest of the Mets starters are set to hit free agency.
The two headliners are, of course, Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt. Two other solid backend rotation options in 2021, All-Star Taijuan Walker and 15-game winner in 2022 Carlos Carrasco will likely hit the market.
deGrom and Walker both have player opt-out options. A mutual option between the club and Bassitt is in place. Carrasco has a team option it seems likely the Mets will decline, considering his age (36 next March).
It leads to many tough decisions for the Mets with just their starting pitchers alone. Knowing Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo are also top priorities, along with adding more upgrades, and simply stability to the bullpen, makes it hard to retain most of the starters.
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Making the case for Jacob deGrom being the SP to focus on re-signing:
Ultimately, if the Mets can only keep one of their four free-agent starting pitchers, their focus should be on making deGrom a lifelong Met.
While Bassitt had a great 2022 for the Mets winning 15 games and posting a 3.42 ERA, whether he wants to return to the team or not with his comments prior to his playoff start is unknown.
After deGrom, retaining Walker does have more value. However, it seems likely the Mets will move on from Walker.
Carrasco’s age started to show up down the stretch of 2022. The chances are probable the Mets will not have a ton of interest in re-upping him.
It all comes back to the Mets star since his rookie year in 2014. The main question is if deGrom wants to stay in New York with the Mets or not. It does seem like Steve Cohen will be happy to go to extreme measures to keep the ace.
Availability is the other obvious concern with deGrom at this point in his career. deGrom turns 35 next June. He did, however, show just how special he can still be at times in his 11 starts of 2022.
If he is willing to return to the Mets, deGrom could very well become the team’s top priority. He will likely land a four or five-year deal that runs through nearly his age 40 season. It would be similar to what the Mets just signed Scherzer to.
In the end, deGrom and Diaz are the two internal free agents the Mets must place a premium on. If deGrom still wants to play and potentially finish his career with one team, the Mets should and will likely have their focus on him being the starter they re-sign.