How Mets should handle Jacob deGrom’s looming contract situation


As soon as this Main League Baseball lockout will get resolved — and it’ll, earlier than St. Patrick’s Day —Jacob deGrom will enter his stroll yr. No matter ought to the Mets do?

The identical motion they need to have taken with Francisco Lindor’s stroll yr: Completely nothing. For some time, not less than.

OK, let’s clear up a visitors jam of my very own making: DeGrom, who has climbed out of ninth-round-draft-pick obscurity to turn out to be one of many best pitchers on this pitching-rich franchise’s historical past, deserves to be a Met for all times greater than any of his present teammates. But after deGrom missed the second half of final season with proper elbow issues, it wouldn’t behoove him or his employers to plan forward, regardless of the existence of an opt-out within the five-year, $137.5-million extension he signed in March 2019.

DeGrom can rebuild his worth by returning to his elite methods, even for simply the primary half of the season. And if the Mets have answered any query since Steve Cohen acquired them, it’s that they don’t have any qualms about shopping for excessive — they’ll afford to, in any case.

For a part of this dialogue emanates from the large, three-year, $130-million bundle that Cohen dedicated to land stud free-agent arm Max Scherzer proper earlier than Rob Manfred shut down the game, and the issues concerning the homegrown deGrom consequently feeling under-appreciated. The Put up’s Joel Sherman reported final yr that deGrom felt lower than fantastic concerning the Mets’ aggressive pursuit of well-known creep Trevor Bauer that (thankfully for the Mets) fell quick to his hometown Dodgers.

Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGrom was out for the second half of the 2021 season with an elbow damage.
Invoice Kostroun/New York Put up

Had deGrom clocked a 2021 just like its three predecessors — and even to the right-hander’s 2017, actually — then pressure could be afoot, and understandably so. Eight beginning pitchers, together with Bauer, make greater than him on an annual foundation (thanks, Spotrac), and that’s not even accounting for the deferred cash within the deal. After making $35.5 million in 2022 (assuming there’s a 162-game season), the Mets will owe him $32.5 million every in 2023 and 2024, a wholesome deGrom, who will flip 34 in June, would simply surpass. In any case, Scherzer is 37 and concluded his 2021 marketing campaign with a drained pitching arm.

As an alternative, the edges ought to and nearly definitely will wait. At this juncture, why would the Mets provide deGrom something greater than the 2 years and $65 million to purchase him out of his opt-out? 

The calendar, the necessity to not do something for some time, aids either side. It may have aided the Mets and Lindor a yr in the past, after the Mets acquired the All-Star shortstop, one yr away from free company, in an enormous commerce with Cleveland. No logic prevented Lindor and the Mets from taking the 2021 to get to know one another and make sure the good sense of a wedding. As an alternative, Cohen, clearly decided to show he wasn’t a Wilpon, shocked Lindor, who by all accounts by no means yearned to play in New York, with the 10-year, $341-million bundle he merely couldn’t refuse. And when Lindor holds his first information convention this spring, as this extension formally begins, probably the most urgent material figures to be Mike Puma’s story final November that detailed how Lindor grabbed Jeff McNeil by the throat and pinned him towards a wall throughout a 2021 recreation, then concocted an asinine cowl story afterwards for public consumption.

Yeesh.

To wash up my newest spill on this aisle, zero doubts exist over deGrom’s potential to deal with New York, to pitch for the Mets regardless of the cloud that appears to perpetually hover above them, the id of the proprietor be damned. Simply stating, no have to reply a bell that isn’t ringing. 

A deGrom return to type within the season’s first three months may nip this subject within the bud by the All-Star break: Tear up these final two years, eradicate the opt-out and provides him $174 million over 4 years, by 2026, exceeding Scherzer’s yearly wage by $167,000. Such an final result would convey pleasure to either side and Mets followers.

Good issues can come to these to attend, as they are saying. If this wait seems to be nice, that may bode very nicely for these Mets.

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