Jacob deGrom has left New York City after 12 years playing in the Big Apple, but he couldn’t have headed south without one last, classy gesture: thanking the New York Mets and their fans by placing a full-page ad in the Na.
The 34-year-old pitched nine MLB seasons at Citi Field, winning Rookie of the Year in 2014 and two Cy Young awards. He was also named an All-Star four times and made the All-MLB First Team in 2019 and 2020, in addition to a list of other individual achievements.
The right-hander’s time in New York was set to come to an end at the beginning of the month following the announcement that he had signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Jacob deGrom wrote an emotional letter to Mets fans and the city in the New York Post today
DeGrom, 34, has left the Mets to join the Texas Rangers on a five-year, $185 million contract
“I can still remember the exact moment I first stood on Citi Field mound after being called up in 2014,” deGrom’s letter read in Thursday’s print editions of The New York Post. “It was a moment full of beautiful emotions that will always be etched in my memory.
“My family and I are eternally grateful to the Mets for an incredible past 12 years and, most importantly, for believing in me. Because all these years you’ve given me the chance to play the game I love at the highest level. There are so many people I want to thank and acknowledge:
Steve Cohen, Billy Eppler, the entire front office, managers, coaches, players, past and present, bullpen catchers, trainers, clubhouse staff, security staff, family room staff, kitchen staff, public relations staff, photographers, stadium staff, New York City police officers, TV personalities, and journalists. You have all played such a vital role in our lives in New York. In addition to a working relationship, many of you became true, lifelong friends of Stacey and me.
During his 12 seasons with Citi Field, DeGrom won Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards
“To the New York Mets fans, your passion, dedication and unwavering support for me from the very beginning has been incredible. It is humble and appreciated beyond words. Thank you for your dedication and for how kindly you hugged me and my family. It’s been a real honor to wear a Mets uniform all these years. The New York Mets, the fans and the city will always hold a very special place in our hearts.”
The full-page letter was signed “Jacob deGrom and Family.” It featured the pitcher’s number (48) with a photo of Mets fans cheering their team in the background.
DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 career innings. He will get $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no money guaranteed.
World Series champion Justin Verlander signed a two-year contract to replace DeGrom in New York
His departure from the Mets paves the way for the arrival of Justin Verlander, who won the World Series last season with the Houston Astros. The three-time winner of the Cy Young Award was introduced last week at a press conference at Citi Field.
“He’s iconic here in this stadium and for this organization,” Verlander said of DeGrom, adding that he didn’t think it was fair to sign with the Mets until he knew his co-pitcher’s next move.
Mets GM Billy Eppler said deGrom’s contract was much longer than the Mets front office was comfortable with and that “it sort of fit our timeline with Justin.”
Following the Verlander acquisition, the Mets, seeking their first World Series title since 1986, increased their luxury tax returns to about $360 million for next year, on track for a record tax of about $85 million.
Verlander is guaranteed a two-year, $86.7 million contract with New York. He will receive $43,333,333 in each of the next two seasons.