Oft-injured, but damn near unhittable when healthy, former New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was bound to draw numerous suitors once free agency started, and while the rumors haven’t been circulating at quite the speed we expected, deGrom’s market has heated up recently, but the heat hasn’t come from the markets we’d expect.
Most recently, the Tampa Bay Rays threw their hat in the ring — a franchise that has never spent more than $35 million (total contract value) on a free agent. If they’re in on deGrom, then anything is possible. This could, of course, just be a fool’s errand on Tampa Bay’s end. As SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Tuesday, “one league source compared this situation to the Rays’ pursuit last winter of free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman when they emphasized the quality of life and lack of state income tax in Florida.”
There’s zero chance that Tampa Bay is the highest bidder for deGrom, but if the Rays are willing to throw themselves out there, perhaps the era of small-market teams making waves in free agency is finally underway! That being said, until I see a picture of deGrom in a Rays jersey, I’ll doubt their legitimacy in the deGrom market. Here are five teams that would be phenomenal fits for the ace should money be of no issue.