DeGrom declined his $30.5 million player option for 2023 on Monday, becoming a free agent.

DeGrom chose to exercise the opt-out clause in the five-year, $137.5 million contract extension he signed in March 2019 to try his luck in free agency for the first time since being drafted by the Mets in 2010. Though he was bogged down by a shoulder injury to open the campaign, the 34-year-old was electric when on the mound this season, producing a 3.08 ERA and 0.75 WHIP with 102 punchouts over 64.1 innings in 11 starts. After making at least 30 starts in four of his first six seasons in the league, deGrom has logged only 38 total outings over the last three years. Even so, deGrom maintains a career 2.52 ERA over nine MLB seasons, and his otherworldly numbers on a per-start basis make it likely that he earns the largest average annual value contract for any pitcher in this season's free-agency class. The Mets will presumably make retaining deGrom a high priority, but expect several contending clubs to at least put forth competitive offers.

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