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Just Extend Jacob deGrom Already

In the words of David Ortiz, “PAY THE MAN!”

Jacob deGrom by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Just Extend Jacob deGrom Already

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

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.

Not great.

Jacob deGrom, on the other hand, was paid $7.4 million and won a Cy Young. So if the Mets are going to just hand out millions, might as well give it to deGrom.

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-esque hissy fit over not getting extended. That’s not what this is. Jacob deGrom is asking the Mets to deal with this now so they can focus on other important things like, I don’t know…. winning? Perhaps that?

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 less runs in support of his efforts over 12 games, going 0-7. Rough. However, deGrom only gave up 16 runs in those 12 games. That’s 1.3 runs a game where the Mets scored 2 or fewer runs.

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 season, when he’ll turn 33. The $36.6 million AAV, would make deGrom the highest paid pitcher in the league per year, which is always a nice thing to add to your resume. As of right now, the Mets only have around $20 million on the books, so they could still take on additional years were they to offer deGrom a larger contract.

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.

End of story.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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