Two New York players–Aaron Judge and Jacob DeGrom–are the biggest free agents in baseball, and each now has odds set on their next destination.
After opening up odds on Judge’s free-agency choice just after the World Series, DraftKings has set odds on DeGrom’s destination, and he’s favored to be staying put.
Mets Remain Front-Runners for DeGrom’s Services
Jacob DeGrom is reportedly seeking a contract similar to 2021 teammate Max Scherzer, who signed a three-year, $120 million deal with the Mets exactly one year ago.
December 1 also marks another big day in team history, as the Mets’ trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought Edwin Diaz occurred on this day in 2018.
While no news is imminent, Mets general manager Billy Eppler did speak to the media today and said that the lines of communication between the club and the two-time Cy Young Award winner are strong.
Who Can Compete With the Mets in DeGrom Odds?
When looking at teams that could wrest DeGrom away from the only professional organization he’s known, you have to look at both need and money. The sizable contract that DeGrom is seeking along with the potential risks involved (he missed over a calendar year of action from 2021-22 with arm injuries) equals a deal that only makes sense for a handful of teams.
Here are the odds from DraftKings, then we will analyze the suitors.
|TEAM TO ACQUIRE DEGROM||ODDS|
|New York Mets||-130|
|New York Yankees||+550|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+800|
|Boston Red Sox||+1500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1800|
|San Francisco Giants||+2200|
|San Diego Padres||+2500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+3500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+7000|
|All Other Teams||+10000|
No one knows what’s going through DeGrom’s mind, but on the surface, the Mets are the best fit.
New York has a roster that made the postseason a year ago (and led the National League East for the vast majority of the season), they have the money to sign him to the deal that he wants, and owner Steve Cohen is committed to winning.
In August, DeGrom pitched at Citi Field for the first time in over a year and admitted that he had chills during this moment.
He then went out and retired 16-straight Atlanta hitters in a 5-2 Mets victory. While he slumped in September, DeGrom did earn the only “W” in the three-game Wild Card series against San Diego.
Which Teams in the Odds Could Realistically Get DeGrom?
While DeGrom signing with the rival Braves has been a popular narrative, it just doesn’t make sense for a team that has heavily invested its core, most-recently signing pitcher Spencer Strider to a deal through 2028.
The Yankees, with a huge contract decision of their own on their hands with Judge, do not seem in the position to take on another gigantic pitching contract with Gerrit Cole on the team.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (+800) have to be taken seriously, as they were the favorites to land Scherzer last offseason before he chose to go to New York. Another popular team being thrown around is Texas (+1500), as they spent plenty of money last year to upgrade their offense with Marcus Siemian and Corey Seager, but they still struggled in the loaded AL West due to having a weak pitching staff outside of Martin Perez, who the club re-signed this offseason as well.
Will There Be a Surprise Team?
Like Scherzer picking the Mets last December, surprises have been known to happen when it comes to teams willing to open up the checkbook. Due to the financial aspect, it was a big surprise to hear that the thrifty Tampa Bay Rays were linked to the star pitcher. DeGrom is from DeLand, Florida, which is a little over two hours away from St. Petersburg. However, signing DeGrom alone would nearly double the Rays’ payroll, which has never been their way to operate. Plus, given that the Rays have made the postseason for four-straight years, it would be very out-of-character for them to make a move like this.
Three teams that we see making a surprise run could be the Philadelphia Phillies. The NL East rivals reached the World Series on the backs of their powerful offense. Once the bats cooled, however, he Houston Astros won four of the final five games of the series.
If the world-champion Astros do not re-sign Justin Verlander (who is seeking a similar deal like DeGrom), they could also emerge as a contender. There is also talk that the Dodgers are higher on Verlander than they are DeGrom. That nugget of information should favor the Astros over the Dodgers in the race for DeGrom as well.
Where Will Jacob DeGrom Play Baseball in 2023?
Our final verdict is that DeGrom will remain in Queens with the Mets on a contract similar but slightly richer than Scherzer’s. For betting value, we would then pick the two Texas teams after the Mets: Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.