New York Mets fans will finally get to see Jacob deGrom take the mound on Tuesday.
However, the returning ace might not stick around beyond 2022.
The 34-year-old pitcher can opt out of the last two years of his contract after the 2022 season. Although a shoulder injury has sidelined him all year, deGrom hasn’t given up on his project to test the free market.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, deGrom still intends to retire this offseason.
Of course, that plan likely hinges on deGrom returning healthy to some semblance of himself. He would give up $63 million over the next two seasons, barely a small sum for an aging starter who hasn’t made an MLB start since July 7, 2021.
However, a healthy deGrom should fetch a lot more in free agency.
He need only look to new teammate Max Scherzer, who joined the Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal. Scherzer hit that huge payday at age 37 despite struggling with his hamstrings in 2021.
Justin Verlander and former Mets starter Noah Syndergaard also received $25 million and $21 million, respectively, last offseason despite Tommy John’s surgery.
Before his 2021 season ended prematurely, deGrom was in the midst of an all-time great year. The two-time Cy Young Award winner posted a microscopic 1.08 ERA in 15 spectacular starts, amassing 148 strikeouts in 11 walks.
After a long sideline, deGrom is program to make his 2022 debut on Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. Despite his long absence, a return to form would put him on track for a massive multi-year deal this offseason.