Jacob deGrom
(David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP Photo)

Making sure Jacob deGrom is locked in long-term with the New York Mets is a top priority, but Opening Day is inching closer.

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen talks a mighty big game for a first-time general manager. After an active offseason, his biggest priority should be inking Jacob deGrom to a long-term deal before Opening Day.

If he can’t do that, his former client could impose an innings limit on himself. Given deGrom’s competitive nature, an innings limit seems unlikely. But the mere fact that he’s considering it is a red flag.

The reigning National League Cy Young winner imposed a deadline on negotiations. If a deal is not in place by Opening Day, the two sides will table discussions until after the season.

“Negotiations between the Mets and ace Jacob deGrom are ongoing, with optimism in some corners that the sides will reach a deal by next Thursday’s self-imposed deadline,” writes SNY’s Andy Martino.

“As of Monday morning, an agreement was not imminent, but the Mets and deGrom’s reps continued to hammer away behind the scenes. SNY has previously reported that deGrom is seeking a deal of approximately five years and $150 million; it is not known what type of deal the sides are currently discussing.”

According to the reports from SNY, the two sides are still working, but it has to concern Mets fans that nothing appears close to done. Of course, these types of negotiations can advance to completion in the blink of an eye.

On the other hand, should negotiations fall apart, that would leave a black cloud hanging over the team. The Mets only have deGrom under control through 2020 so they run the risk of eventually losing him in free agency. Moreover, if the team doesn’t jump out to a fast start, the trade rumors will inevitably begin to surface.

For a team—and general manager—deadset on contending for a World Series, uncertainty regarding deGrom’s future won’t go over well.

It’s hard to say what will happen prior to March 28, but the clock is ticking.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.