Jacob deGrom explains Mets departure, why ‘part of’ him ‘thought’ he would return

Feb 21, 2023; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob deGrom (17) poses for a photo during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports / © Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Mets ace Jacob deGrom says “part of” him “thought” he would return to New York for the 2023 season and beyond, and that he never necessarily set out to sign with a new MLB team or the Texas Rangers. DeGrom explained in an interview Sunday with Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

“It was never like, I’m outta here,” deGrom said. “You look at places you can see yourself playing. All I had known was New York, and part of me thought I’d be back.”

DeGrom added that he was not “annoyed about his slightly under-market contract,” as Heyman put it.

“That kind of got out. (But) I really enjoyed my time in New York,” deGrom said. “I have friends that will be lifelong friends in New York. We still keep in touch with a lot of people. That was all I knew for 13 years including eight seasons in the big leagues. The fans and everyone were always great to me. It was never like 100 percent I’m leaving here.”

The 34-year-old signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Rangers Dec. 2.

“It’s free agency,” deGrom said. “You sit down and say I could see myself here, I could see myself there. Texas showed a ton of interest. Things got moving really, really quickly. And I said, I’m going to be a Texas Ranger.”