Jacob deGrom is coming into camp with his future in mind. He might tell the New York Mets he has some limits this season.
In his Wednesday press conference, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen stressed the need for clarity when it comes to Jacob deGrom. The Cy Young pitcher and the New York Mets are working on a long-term deal with Opening Day as their deadline for negotiations. If there’s no long-term deal made, the two sides will table the discussion so there’s no distraction during the regular season.
Of course, things can’t be that simple. In an added wrinkle to deGrom’s contract negotiations, the superstar hurler could put restrictions on himself—perhaps in the form of an innings limit—if he isn’t signed to a long-term contract prior to the season.
Jacob deGrom and Brodie Van Wagenen touched on extension talks this afternoon ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/N5HIDZIuY8
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 14, 2019
“I think that’s going to be a discussion that’s going to have to be had with my agents,” deGrom responded when asked about limiting his use this season. “That’s gonna be—I’m gonna have to sit down with them and really see what they think is best for me moving forward.”
The righty has always acted with the utmost professionalism so there’s no doubt that he’ll be ready to bring it this year. But there’s a decent chance that he has to manage his workload.
He threw 200-plus innings over the last two seasons and he’s at that special age of 30 when teams start thinking about potential longevity issues. If he thinks another 200 innings will hurt his value in free agency, it would be smart for deGrom to limit his usage this season.
It doesn’t sound like something that deGrom is excited to do, but if he doesn’t have the security of a multi-year deal, it’s hard to blame him for protecting his value.
The easiest way to resolve this situation and avoid a constant distraction is by opening up the checkbook and signing deGrom. This has the potential to linger as a negative storyline throughout the season. The Mets and Van Wagenen would be wise to go all in on deGrom.