SAN DIEGO — Jacob deGrom and the Mets spoke daily until at least around Thanksgiving.
But after that? General manager Billy Eppler didn’t want to get into it.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, however, filled in some of the details from the other side: deGrom’s five-year, $185 million contract with Texas came together awfully quickly late last week, he said Monday at the winter meetings.
“It was a very, very good couple of days, because I had a ton of phone calls about it,” said Bochy, who had a video call with deGrom before Thanksgiving. “And it’s real exciting stuff. You just don’t know, when these meetings start happening, your chances of landing your guy. But it happened pretty fast for us . . . He made up his mind pretty quick.”
On Monday, in his first public comments since deGrom’s departure, Eppler said: “I’m not going to get into any details on Jacob’s situation. So we talked a number of times. We talked every single day leading into the week, but beyond that, I’m not going to disclose any of the details of those conversations.”
Eppler did offer that he sent deGrom a congratulatory text after he signed. DeGrom responded; Eppler declined to share what he said.
“He gave Mets fans a lot of really good memories,” Eppler said. “We wish him the best. Happy that he was able to make a decision that he felt was best for him and his family.”
In his early conversations with deGrom — whom he first met in 2015 when he managed the NL All-Star team — Bochy was struck by “how really committed he was to playing on a winner,” he said. The Rangers went 68-94 in 2022 and haven’t had a winning season since 2016 but are trying to improve under GM Chris Young.
“For him to be leading the way was a big need for us,” Bochy said. “And it makes our club so much better when you get a player like this. And so I couldn’t have been happier.”