New York Mets fans will finally get to see Jacob deGrom take the mound Tuesday.
However, the returning ace may not stick around beyond 2022.
The 34-year-old pitcher can opt out of the final two years of his contract following the 2022 season. Although a shoulder injury has sidelined him all year, deGrom hasn't abandoned his plans to test the open market.
Per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, deGrom still intends on opting out this offseason.
Of course, this plan is likely contingent on deGrom returning healthy at some semblance of his former self. He'd forgo $63 million over the next two seasons, hardly a small sum for an aging starter who hasn't made an MLB start since July 7, 2021.
However, a healthy deGrom should net far more in free agency.
He merely has to look to new teammate Max Scherzer, who joined the Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal. Scherzer netted that huge payday at age 37 despite experiencing hamstring issues in 2021.
Justin Verlander and former Mets starter Noah Syndergaard also received $25 million and $21 million, respectively, last offseason despite coming off Tommy John surgery.
Before his 2021 season ended prematurely, deGrom was in the midst of an all-time great year. The two-time Cy Young Award winner posted a microscopic 1.08 ERA in 15 spectacular starts, amassing 148 strikeouts to 11 walks.
Following a long layaway, deGrom is scheduled to make his 2022 debut Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. Despite his lengthy absence, a return to form would put him on track for a massive multi-year contract this offseason.