Jacob deGrom, the best pitcher in baseball, is leaving the Mets after nine seasons with the team.
The 34-year-old ace is signing a five-year deal contract with the Texas Rangers, the team announced Friday night.
According to multiple reports, the deal is worth $185 million ($37 million AAV) with a conditional sixth-year option.
The Mets had serious interest in bringing back the two-time Cy Young award winner - who had also been linked to the Atlanta Braves and Yankees - but now will shift gears and focus on landing another star.
"I wish him well," Mets owner Steve Cohen told SNY's Andy Martino. "He has the right to choose his team. Now this team has to move on to the next thing."
The Mets were in contact on Thursday and made an offer to deGrom in the range of $120 million over three years, per the New York Post's Joel Sherman. He added there was no back-and-forth between the two sides on Friday, so there was no "if you can top this" bidding.
Before opting out of his deal following the World Series, deGrom had said numerous times that it would be cool to spend his entire career in Queens. But there was widespread industry chatter that built during the 2022 season that he might want to leave the New York market.
The four-time All-Star debuted with the Mets in 2014, winning the Rookie of the Year award after posting a 2.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 144 strikeouts in 140.1 innings.
During his Mets tenure, as he emerged as the best and most dominant pitcher in the sport, deGrom had a 2.52 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over 209 starts.
DeGrom won the Cy Young award in 2018 (when he led the league with a 1.70 ERA) and 2019, and was on track to win the award again in 2021 -- when he had a 1.08 ERA and 0.55 WHIP at the All-Star break. But deGrom didn't make any starts after the break due to an elbow injury.
DeGrom missed the first four months of the 2022 season due with a shoulder injury, but after returning this past August, he had a 3.08 ERA (2.13 FIP) and 0.74 WHIP with 102 strikeouts in 64.1 innings over 11 regular season starts.
With deGrom gone, the Mets' rotation for 2023 currently consists of Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco, with David Peterson and Tylor Megill as additional options. The Mets have now targeted Justin Verlander in free agency. According to Martino, Verlander is now "front and center" for the Mets.