Anywhere but the New York Mets is probably the worst place Jacob deGrom could end up next season. Fully expected to opt out this winter, Mets fans might be witnessing the final days for deGrom in orange and blue.
What would be the worst place for him to land? These five teams might be the ultimate nightmare scenario.
The Houston Astros aren’t direct rivals with the Mets even if they’ve been twin teams throughout history. Each franchise came into existence back in 1962 and they went to battle in the 1986 NLCS back when the Astros were still in the National League.
deGrom ending up with the Astros would be a high-profile addition for them and a noteworthy one Mets fans would fear simply because we’ve seen a similar thing happen before. Justin Verlander was traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Astros a few years ago. They gave him a sip from their Fountain of Youth and he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball ever since.
It wouldn’t affect the Mets much in the standings outside of the times they actually play each other. With it already being an easy guess that the Astros and Mets could meet in the 2023 World Series, the pain of watching deGrom take down his former club alongside Verlander would be incredibly painful—regardless of whether or not he just helped New York win in the previous season.
deGrom seems exactly like the type of star pitcher the Astros would pay in a similar way the Mets brought in Max Scherzer this past offseason. The team actually has some younger and more affordable starting pitchers they can roll with behind the pair. Given their recent success of catapulting guys like Gerrit Cole from middling starters to aces, we shouldn’t count them out from accomplishing the same with another more seasoned veteran.
Watching deGrom excel anywhere but in Flushing would hurt. The Astros might hurt only a little bit less than these last four teams.