He’s been the most reliable pitcher on this staff since 2014. So when are the Mets finally going to work out a contract extension with Jacob deGrom?
With the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Award, two top-ten Cy Young finishes, and a career 2.98 ERA under his belt, it was only a matter of time before the Mets would look to lock up their de facto ace, Jacob deGrom, to a long-term contract. Since his arrival in Queens four seasons ago, deGrom has been the most reliable and consistent pitcher on this staff, accumulating 45 wins over 680.2 innings pitched.
But if there’s one thing that shouldn’t surprise you, it’s the New York Mets’ inability to amicably and efficiently secure the future of their stars. We can add Jacob deGrom to that list after the front office reportedly struck out in their first crack at extension talks with deGrom, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
The Mets had preliminary talks this winter about a contract extension with Jacob deGrom, but they never gained much traction. Sides mutually agreed just to do the arbitration settlement.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 23, 2018
After failing to reach an agreement with their ace, who set new career-highs in starts, innings pitched, and strikeout rate in 2017, the Amazins shifted focus to completing a deal to avoid arbitration. deGrom will earn $4.05 million in 2018, a considerable jump from his $607,000 contract from only a year ago.
Given that deGrom was a late bloomer, it is unlikely that he will have multiple opportunities to enter the free agent market. Arriving in the major leagues at 26 years old, deGrom came up at a considerably older age than his contemporaries. We can speculate that in the form of an extension, the Mets would seek to secure deGrom’s arbitration years and buy out a year or two of free agency. deGrom is under control through the 2020 season, which means that if the Mets were to lock him up for an extra year or two, he wouldn’t reach free agency until age 33 or 34.
Without the right price on the table, it does not serve deGrom’s best interests to give up his prime years at a discounted rate. Whether the Mets will take another shot at an extension for deGrom is a relative unknown at this point, but one thing is for certain. deGrom is one of the, if not the, most important contributors to this staff right now and remains a major building block supporting this team’s chances to compete.