The Atlanta Braves don’t make much sense for Jacob deGrom at this juncture, yet ESPN still expects him to sign with the Mets rival.
After Atlanta extended Charlie Morton, thus giving them a starting rotation four deep, it didn’t make much sense to make Jacob deGrom an offer upwards of $45 million+ per season. The Braves need to save that money for a shortstop, presumably, especially with Dansby Swanson in free agency.
Andy Martino and Buster Olney reported (separately, I might add) early on in free agency that rival teams thought the Braves should be favored to sign deGrom. Yet, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic quickly put all that to bed.
ESPN still thinks Braves will sign Jacob deGrom
Atlanta signing Jacob deGrom would be an utter shock at this point. If he does in fact leave the Mets, it will not be for a rival within their own division. The Braves, as it turns out, were always a longshot.
Yet, Buster Olney and Jesse Rogers, among six ESPN analysts, consider Atlanta as the likely suitor for deGrom. What are we missing?
However, the Texas Rangers do make a lot of sense as a potential suitor. The Rangers were in the market for a big-name starter last offseason, but failed to sign one. Instead, they inked Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.
Clayton Kershaw, a Texas native, nearly signed with the Rangers, but stayed with the Los Angeles Dodgers instead. deGrom would receive the contract he covets and then some from Texas, while Steve Cohen and Co. rightly have some questions.
The problem with signing deGrom to that sort of deal, or long-term for that matter, is his health. deGrom made just 11 starts this past season, and has flirted with injury concerns for much of his career. When he’s healthy, he’s arguably the best starting pitcher in all of baseball.
But he’s rarely healthy for an entire season. Atlanta would be wise to steer clear for now.