Buck Showalter: Jacob deGrom 'Didn't Want to Leave' The New York Mets

Ex-Mets manager Buck Showalter set the record straight about Jacob deGrom's departure from Queens last year.
Oct 8, 2022; New York City, New York, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts
Oct 8, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Ex-New York Mets manager Buck Showalter says the rumors about his former two-time Cy Young winning ace were not true.

As Showalter told another former Mets manager, Terry Collins, on The Terry Collins Show, superstar right-handed starting pitcher Jacob deGrom "didn't want to leave" the team in free agency following the 2022 season.

Leading up to deGrom's free agent period, the word out there in the industry was that the elite hurler no longer wanted to play in New York, favoring Florida, Atlanta or Texas as more desirable landing spots. DeGrom is a Floridian and went to Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., where he mostly played shortstop, and made just 18 appearances (12 starts) as a pitcher during his collegiate career.

It made sense that he would prefer to either go back home to pitch in Florida or another southern state, as opposed to New York. However, the Mets drafted deGrom in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and he spent the entirety of his career in Queens from 2014-2022. But injuries derailed a potential Hall of Fame résumé in his last two seasons with the club.

As it turns out, deGrom did in fact want to remain with the Mets, but the Texas Rangers came along and made him an offer he could not refuse at five-years, $185 million. DeGrom never gave the Mets a chance to match the offer from Texas, but that is because talks with owner Steve Cohen and then GM Billy Eppler were far apart in terms of money compared to the deal that was on the table with the Rangers.

DeGrom underwent Tommy John surgery last spring and missed the remainder of the 2023 season, which ended with his team winning the World Series without him. This is no knock on deGrom, but it shows how strong of a club the Rangers had last year.

In the end, deGrom will still go down as one of the best Mets' pitchers in franchise history, and helped them reach the World Series in 2015. The soon to be 36-year-old also won back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards with the Mets in 2018 and 2019, Rookie of the Year in 2014, made four All-Star teams and was the best pitcher on the planet in five consecutive seasons when healthy.

The perception was that deGrom no longer wanted to be with the Mets, but his former skipper, Showalter, set the record straight to Collins that this wasn't the case.


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Pat Ragazzo

PAT RAGAZZO

Pat Ragazzo is the reporter, publisher, site manager and executive editor for the Mets and Yankees websites on Sports Illustrated. Pat was selected as The Top Reporter & Publisher of the Year 2024 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for outstanding leadership, dedication, and commitment to the industry. He has been seen on several major TV Network stations including: SNY, FOX5, PIX11 and NY1. And can also frequently be heard on ESPN New York FM 98.7 FM and WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM as a guest. You can follow him on Twitter/X: @ragazzoreport. Pat also serves as the Mets insider for the "Allow Me 2 Be Frank" podcast with Frank "The Tank" Fleming of Barstool Sports.