As the offseason begins to get underway in full, both Taijuan Walker and Jacob deGrom have exercised their opt outs and will head to free agency. With Chris Bassitt also declining his end of a $19M mutual option, that leaves the Mets with only Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco (presuming his option is picked up) remaining from last year’s top-5 starters.
deGrom would’ve been due $30.5M in 2023, with an additional club option for 2024 at $32.5M for 2024 had he opted in. He’s been consistent in interviews that he intended to opt out, however, and should certainly due better than 2-years and $63M on the open market. Whether he winds up returning to New York remains an open question at this point. Reportedly, he’s looking to top Max Scherzer’s $43M AAV, a hefty sum for a pitcher who has only tossed 156.1 innings over the last two seasons and looked slightly more mortal at times this year.
Walker, meanwhile, had a second straight solid showing in Queens, tossing another 157.1 of #3 or #4 quality innings. His peripherals remain a little underwhelming and his ERA outperformed other metrics a bit this year, but he’s established himself as a fairly reliable arm to pencil into the back-half of a rotation. He was also oddly left off the postseason roster, a move that arguably played a major role in the Mets’ wild card loss to the Padres given the struggles of their top-3 starters. Walker would’ve received $6M in 2023 had he opted in and will have no trouble finding a multi-year deal worth more than that in free agency.