The New York Mets are notoriously bad at spending the right money on the right players. In 2018, they spent over $35 million on Jay Bruce, Jason Vargas, Anthony Swarzak, Juan Lagares and Todd Frazier, who returned the favor with a combined 2.2 WAR.
And he’s earned it.
Jacob deGrom announced this week that he’s giving the Mets until Opening Day to negotiate an extension, after which he doesn’t want to discuss a new contract until the offseason.
Lots of media pundits are spinning this as deGrom pulling a Matt Harvey-
As we know, Jacob deGrom plays for the New York Mets. The New York Mets are very bad at baseball. This is an established fact. The New York Mets are unable to get out of their own way in the regular season. Jacob deGrom refused to allow that to happen when he took the mound in 2018. It was only when he was removed from games, that he struggled to win games. In his 32 starts, Jacob deGrom only gave up 3+ runs in 5 of those games.
Let that sink in. deGrom only gave up 3 or more runs in 5 starts last year. That’s insane. Actually insane.
So, in the remaining 27 games, Jacob deGrom received 2 or
If there’s a dark mark on deGrom’s 2018, it’s his record. The common fan would look at a pitcher with a 10-9 record and say “he’s not that good,” where the more advanced fan of the game would say “record doesn’t matter.” Regardless, Jacob deGrom brought the Cy Young back to Queens for the first time since 2012.
And he deserves to be paid for it.
This is not a Matt Harvey “wait and see” kind of situation. This is not a “let him test the market” moment for the franchise. Extending deGrom is a must. So the Mets need to do it.
When the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen as Sandy Alderson’s replacement for General Manager, many pundits called the hiring a conflict of interest, due to the fact that Van Wagenen was deGrom’s agent. Like most things in my life, I sided with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, that this is not a conflict of interest, but the best case scenario for both sides.
Who knows deGrom better than anyone? His agent. Who knows the finances of the team better than deGrom and his agent? The GM. Combining both is a win-win.
There are two options for the Mets right now: extend deGrom for three years or five years.
A three year, $110 million deal gets the Mets and deGrom through the 2019
Which brings us to five years for $150 million.
This is an overpay unless the last two years become team options. The Mets can assume that deGrom isn’t going to have a sub-2.00 ERA every year, so shelling out $150 million for deGrom’s services after his Cy Young season seems… extremely reactionary.
Was the $10 million increase from last year earned? Are you kidding? Of course, it was. But to offer deGrom a huge deal because of a Cy Young year is something the Mets already did, and then they traded R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. That kind of contract could easily become an albatross contract, something the Mets can’t afford.
And if you’re sitting there saying “this is something the Mets should worry about next year”… sure. You’re absolutely right. They could. But the longer the Mets wait, the more expensive deGrom will cost, and the more risk they’ll take on in the later years of the deal. Extending deGrom now is the way to go.
At the end of the day, Jacob deGrom joined the company of Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver, as the only Mets to win Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards while in Queens. Those two get high praise, and are cemented in Mets history forever. deGrom is no different.
The Mets need to pay Jacob deGrom. They need him to stay in Queens. He’s part of our past, present and future.