When reports first surfaced during the season of the Braves being serious contenders to sign Jacob deGrom this offseason, it was an intriguing thought. But as the year went on, and Atlanta gave Charlie Morton a contract extension, it became far less likely, even if Andy Martino of SNY recently reported that the Mets view the Braves and Rangers as the biggest threats to pry deGrom away from New York.
With the veteran Morton back in the rotation, the club has four capable starters and a bevy of arms waiting in the wings to claim the fifth and final spot. Kyle Muller, Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka, and Bryce Elder, among others, will be fighting for what will be one spot. That’s a ton of competition, but if that didn’t convince you, the financials should.
As things stand now, Atlanta will have around $180 million committed to 2023 after arbitration deals are worked out. With a massive hole at shortstop, signing deGrom is a luxury the Braves don’t have. The Braves may have said they plan to be a top-five payroll; they didn’t specify when, and signing a frontline starter and Dansby Swanson will catapult the Braves well into the luxury tax — somewhere they probably don’t want to be. It was always doubtful the Braves landed Jacob deGrom, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed that yesterday.
deGrom is set to make somewhere between $40-50 million per year and will likely sign a two- or three-year contract. That is an unbelievable financial commitment for an aging and injury-prone player. Still, if anyone’s worth it, it’s deGrom. He’s still got the nastiest stuff on the planet; he just won’t be throwing it in a Braves uniform. Hopefully, he leaves New York, and the Braves won’t have to see him five times a year anymore.