Free Agent Notes: deGrom, Braves, Taillon, Anderson, Gibson

The five-year, $185MM deal between Jacob deGrom and the Rangers came together pretty quickly, and deGrom didn’t give the Mets a chance to counter the offer, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes.  This isn’t to say that the Mets would have countered, as they “had no intention of offering anything close to where the winning bid landed.”  While the Mets had some sense in November that deGrom might prefer to remain in New York if his offers were all in the same price range, Olney writes that some in the organization felt deGrom was starting to gradually distance himself from the Mets as the season went on.

There was also some mutual interest between deGrom and the Braves, relating back to an October report suggesting deGrom would ideally like to pitch closer to his home in Florida.  According to Olney, the Braves were recently looking into deGrom, but his desired price tag was too high for the team.

Here’s some more buzz from around the free agent market, on players both already signed and still available…

  • The Mets “made a serious run…hoping to close a deal” with Jameson Taillon last week, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.  New York was known to have interest in Taillon, and this increased push seemingly indicates that he is pretty high on the team’s list of targets.  That said, Martino thinks “it’s easy to see another team offering more than the Mets” for Taillon, as Justin Verlander is the Amazins’ top target and Carlos Rodon may be the backup plan.  Past reports indicate that the Mets are looking to acquire an ace (i.e. Verlander or Rodon) and then another starter from the next tier of the free agent pitching market, which includes Taillon and several other arms.
  • The Mariners had interest in trading for Brian Anderson during the 2021 season, The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish reports, but the Marlins wanted too much in return.  With Anderson now a free agent, Divish wonders if Seattle might again look to add the third baseman/outfielder, who brings some multi-positional ability and perhaps some bounce-back potential.  Anderson has hit only .233/.322/.359 over 647 plate appearances and 165 games since the start of the 2021 season, with injuries limiting his playing time.  Miami opted to non-tender Anderson last month, rather than pay him a projected $5.2MM in arbitration salary.
  • Kyle Gibson agreed to a one-year deal with the Orioles, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that Gibson turned down a similar offer from an unknown team.  Baltimore’s offer was preferable to Gibson because of the Orioles’ strong infield defense, the more pitcher-friendly left-field dimensions at Camden Yards, and the chance to work with catcher Adley Rutschman.

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