Jacob deGrom's departure from the New York Mets shocked many in the baseball world.
It seems it may have even come as a surprise to deGrom himself.
According to a new report, Mets manager Buck Showalter has revealed that deGrom recently told him that he thought he'd re-sign with the Mets in free agency.
"I just talked to him the other day," Showalter told Bob Klapisch of NJ.com. "He said, 'someday I’d like to sit down with you and explain what really happened. I really thought I’d be back there.'"
Of course, what happened instead is that deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers on a lucrative five-year, $185 million contract. The megadeal marked the end of deGrom's tenure in New York after nine seasons, a run that included two Cy Young Awards.
According to Showalter, the Mets were simply outbid by the Rangers.
Many fans and journalists are skeptical of that narrative, however, given the deep pockets of owner Steve Cohen.
Previous reporting has also indicated that deGrom never gave the Mets the opportunity to match or beat the Rangers' proposal.
Showalter was asked if he thinks deGrom was happy with the Mets.
"Yes, I do," he said.
However, Showalter thinks the Rangers' hefty offer, combined with the opportunity to play in a relatively quieter setting than New York, was an attractive prospect for the purportedly low-key deGrom.
"I’ll take him at his word, but I think it’s pretty simple: the Rangers made him an offer that was light-years ahead of everyone else. Plus there’s no state income tax (in Texas), and he was looking for a place to spread out. He’s got it. Jake will be happy there, and he’ll pitch well. He was great to have around, he was always good with me. But the thing is, Jake is from rural central Florida. He just wants to be left alone to pitch. We’ll miss him, but I can’t dwell on it at this point."
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