In what serves as one of the first big surprises of Major League Baseball's offseason, veteran right-hander Jacob deGrom signed a five-year contract with the Texas Rangers on Friday night. deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, will now front a remade Rangers rotation that disappointed last season en route to a 94-loss effort.

While deGrom's impact on the Rangers is straightforward -- he should be an upgrade provided he stays healthy for any length of time -- it's worth contemplating what his departure means for his former team, the New York Mets. Keep in mind, deGrom may not be the only notable player to leave the Mets through free agency this winter: starter Chris Bassitt and center fielder Brandon Nimmo both remain on the market, as does Taijuan Walker.

As such, here are three questions about the Mets we're pondering as Sunday's start of the Winter Meetings nears.

 

1. Will they sign Verlander, or another top arm?

The most obvious follow-up move the Mets could make is signing one of the other remaining top-10 free-agent starters. According to CBS Sports' rankings, that means Justin Verlander or Carlos Rodón, both of whom have been tied to the Mets recently. 

Verlander would seem like a logical deGrom replacement for several reasons. For one, he's the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. For another, the latest reports have his talks with the Houston Astros stalling out, creating an opening for other teams to swoop in and land him. For a final point, consider that Verlander has been rumored to be seeking a Max Scherzer-like deal, last handed out by...the Mets. They'd probably be up to do it again.

Until Verlander signs, with the Mets or elsewhere, it's worth considering the alternatives, be it Rodón, who has emerged as a top power lefty, or someone like Kodai Senga, who will probably settle in as more of a mid-rotation arm in the majors. There are always options available on the trade market, too.

The only certainty here is that the Mets are guaranteed to add at least one, and probably two starting pitchers between now and the spring.