Believing that the Texas Rangers are serious suitors for Jacob deGrom, the Mets are considering whether to pursue free agent Justin Verlander and forging ahead with a pursuit of Japanese ace Kodai Senga, according to league sources.
The idea of signing Verlander to a high average annual value contract like Max Scherzer’s has been floating around the Mets front office for months, and it remains a topic of discussion.
The central question — a very difficult one to answer — is who makes for a better bet to stay healthy: Verlander, coming off a presumed Cy Young season but about to turn 40, or deGrom, 34 years old but unable to stay on the field for the past two seasons?
The best answer is probably that neither is a good bet, but the Mets have financial resources and are at least mulling the idea of Verlander. They remain engaged with deGrom’s camp, and of course have checked in on just about every free agent or trade option imaginable.
Senga, 29, is in the U.S. visiting clubs. He will meet with the Mets, according to league sources.
Mets GM Billy Eppler has extensive experience scouting in Japan, going back to his time with the Yankees. As the GM who signed Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles, he carries extra name recognition in that baseball community.
In a related note, the Mets have recently parted ways with Conor Brooks, who was their manager of Pacific Rim scouting. That would appear to be a piece of Eppler’s overhaul of organizational infrastructure that included Monday’s hiring of hitting director Jeff Albert, but Eppler declined to confirm it.
“We are not going to discuss employee personnel matters,” Eppler said.
Source: Yahoo Sports