Atlanta Braves considered potential favorites for Jacob deGrom

Jun 15, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets injured pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on from the dugout during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets injured pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on from the dugout during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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The final two months of the 2022 season could be key for Jacob deGrom. He has an opt-out clause at the end of the year, allowing him to forego his $32.5 million salary for 2023 to enter free agency. However, he will need to get on the mound for the Mets in order for that to happen.

If that happens, it is not a given that he returns to New York. According to Buster Olney, the Atlanta Braves are not only expected to pursue deGrom, but could also be considered the favorites to land the Mets’ ace.

Atlanta Braves could poach Jacob deGrom from New York Mets

There is no questioning what deGrom would mean for the Braves. Not only would they land one of the few true aces in baseball, but they would steal him from a team that could be their biggest threat in the division over the next few years. The balance of power would drastically shift in their favor.

He would also be another ace to a team that is watching Max Fried and Kyle Wright emerge as top of the rotation arms in their own right. deGrom would alleviate the pressure on that duo to have to match the top of the Mets rotation.

There are certainly drawbacks to bringing deGrom on board. He will turn 35 years old in the middle of the 2023 season. deGrom also missed the second half of last year, and will have had over a year between outings due to injuries. As he gets older, those injury questions will get louder, especially if his return is delayed this season.

It is a gamble the Braves may need to make. They have a young, dynamic roster that is set to be a perennial contender. Adding deGrom would only further their place in the NL pantheon and would serve notice that they are not conceding the division to New York.

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If Jacob deGrom opts out of his contract, there is no guarantee he returns to the Mets. The Atlanta Braves may even be the favorites for his services.