? This is not a drill! ?
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 17, 2019
Spring training is just getting started, and New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom looks ready to dominate in 2019.
The Mets posted a Twitter video of the 2018 NL Cy Young winner tossing live BP on Sunday. Devin Mesoraco did the catching.
None of the Mets batters even came close to making contact, at least in the video cut posted. One Twitter user cynically pointed out the irony in the video:
Great to see both deGrom and his run support picking up where they left off
— LucidDreamz (@jdlxa714) February 17, 2019
The right-handed starter eked out a 10-9 record in 2018 despite pulverizing opponents with an MLB-leading 1.70 ERA in 32 starts.
The 30-year-old hasn’t let the lack of wins get him down, though, because he wants to ink a long-term deal with New York. However, he has a funny way of showing his love for the organization.
On Valentine’s Day, deGrom gave his team the gift of a potential innings-limit for 2019.
“…I think that’s a discussion that’s going to have to be had with my agents,” deGrom told the New York Post’s Mike Puma, referring to a possible workload reduction.
This threat is an attempt to force the Mets to offer a contract extension. DeGrom won’t hit free agency until the end of the 2020 season.
The situation prompted criticism from New York rivals Luis Severino and James Paxton. The New York Yankees pitchers can’t quite figure out why the Mets’ ace would be willing to trade innings for financial leverage.
The Yankees’ stars might think differently if they had deGrom’s bargaining power, though. Severino had an awful second half in 2018; Paxton is out to prove he can throw more than 160 innings in a season.
DeGrom knows he’ll be paid eventually, and he apparently really wants the Mets to be the team that pays him. However, if he wants his current employer to take his threat seriously, he should probably chill out in batting practice.
If he’s that competitive in practice, there’s no way he’ll pull himself out of actual games.