Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts headline a group of nine players who on Monday were added to the pool of 2022-23 free agents after they exercised opt-outs in their respective contracts. By opting out of their current contracts, the players are betting they can fetch a larger guarantee on the open market, and none of the decisions, which the MLBPA announced, was especially surprising.
In addition to the star trio noted above, Taijuan Walker of the Mets, Carlos Rodón of the Giants, Nelson Cruz of the Nationals, and Jurickson Profar and Robert Suarez of the Padres also became free agents via opt-out. Zach Davies of the Diamondbacks is also now a free agent, although in his case it’s because the club declined their half of a mutual option.
DeGrom, 34, had a $32.5 million guarantee for 2023 in his contract and a $32.5 million team option for 2024. R.J. Anderson recently ranked deGrom as the No. 2 free agent available on. Here’s his write-up of the two-time Cy Young winner:
It reads oddly given deGrom’s excellent track record, but he might be the biggest risk-reward proposition in the class. He’s been one of the best pitchers in the sport since he debuted in 2014, of course, amassing two Cy Young Awards and four All-Star Games appearances along the way. There’s no questioning his legacy, or his ability to throw a baseball with great efficacy when he’s healthy — therein lies the rub: how often will he be healthy heading forward? Injuries have limited deGrom to 26 starts over the last two seasons, and he’s now a half-year shy of turning 35. Pitchers do not tend to stay healthier as they age. Seeing as how deGrom opted out of a one-year pact that would have paid him $32.5 million, it’s likely that he’s seeking a deal with an AAV closer to the $43 million Max Scherzer received last winter. Someone will undoubtedly pony up for a chance at adding a bonafide ace to their rotation, but they may end up experiencing buyer’s remorse if deGrom’s body continues to fail to comply.
Correa, 28, had two years and $70.2 million left on his deal with Minnesota. Correa also had an opt-out after the 2023 season. Here’s Anderson’s write-up on the star shortstop, whom we ranked as the No. 3 free agent of the current class:
In the past, we’ve referenced Bill James’…