Jacob deGrom opts out of contract with Mets to become free agent

Jacob deGrom has officially become a free agent.

The MLBPA released an updated list of free agents Monday morning with the players who opted out of their contracts, with deGrom and right-hander Taijuan Walker on the list. Chris Bassitt, who has a mutual option for 2023, is expected to decline it to become a free agent as well.

DeGrom announced his intention to opt out of the final guaranteed year of his contract during spring training. He was owed $30.5 million in 2023 with the Mets holding a $32.5 million club option for 2024. Owner Steve Cohen has said he will make deGrom a generous offer in an attempt to keep him in a Mets uniform.

However, what that contract looks like right now is somewhat unknown. The two-time Cy Young Award winner went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA last season in just 11 starts. The early part of deGrom’s career was marred by injuries and he had Tommy John surgery and ulnar nerve transposition surgery. The 34-year-old missed significant time with injuries over the last two seasons of his career, though he’s still been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball when healthy.

Multiple arm injuries kept deGrom out of action for more than a year, with the right-hander sidelined from July 7, 2021, to August 2.

Walker took a $3 million buyout instead of exercising a $7.5 million option for next season. The 30-year-old had a strong season going 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA and could earn more in free agency.

Bassitt is also in the same situation, having put up solid numbers last season and establishing himself as one of the more consistent front-line starters in baseball. It speaks to what the Mets were able to accomplish this year with their pitching staff but it’s bad timing that four of five starters had options on their contracts.

Right-hander Carlos Carrasco has a club option for 2023 but the Mets are not expected to exercise it. Left-hander David Peterson and right-hander Tylor Megill could be options for the rotation next season but it’s more likely the Mets fill those four spots through trades and free agency.