If you’re a Mets fan, things are great right now. That’s especially the case after watching Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, and friends even up a potential postseason preview with the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night at Citi Field.
Naturally, the fan base had to be taken off Cloud 9 this morning, courtesy of Andy Martino and Jon Heyman:
This is 100 percent true btw. deGrom returning to Mets is very, very far from assured https://t.co/YYh3BcDIAi
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) September 1, 2022
Thanks a lot, gentlemen. This is not what anybody was looking for, but here we are.
Within Heyman’s New York Post article, there was an interesting (albeit, informal) poll that he ran last night. As deGrom did his usual dominating on the mound, he texted 12 “baseball people” to get their opinion on what the right-hander’s next contract could look like.
Here are the answers to that question from the nine who responded:
- “33-42M per year for 2 to 3 years.”
- “Scherzer money but maybe only two guaranteed years.”
- “2-3 years, $35-45M.”
- “Scherzer territory.”
- “If he finishes healthy/elite … a [Trevor] Bauer/Scherzer shorter deal with huge AAV”
- “4 times 42 plus vesting option to go to 210”
- “Have to start at the Scherzer AAV right?”
- “3 for 145”
- “Whatever the best pitcher in baseball is worth”
- “1 billion dollars”
Outside of the final response, there mostly seems to be a consensus on what deGrom will be shooting for upon opting out of his current deal at season’s end. For a player of his stature and age (he’ll turn 35 years old next June), a short-term deal with a high average annual value makes the most sense.
Trevor Bauer signed a three-year, $103 million deal with the Dodgers after winning the Cy Young Award in 2020. That set a record for AAV…before Max Scherzer blew it out of the water with his own three-year deal, which is worth $130 million.
DeGrom and Scherzer have been two of the best pitchers in baseball since 2018. Scherzer leads all qualified starters with 25.2 fWAR during that time, and despite injuries, deGrom is right behind him at 25.1 fWAR. There’s almost no doubt that deGrom will want to be paid similarly (or better) than his teammate. Based on his production in August, all he needs to focus on is finishing the season healthy.
For anyone nervous about deGOAT potentially not being in Queens beyond this year, don’t forget that the Mets have different ownership. Of course, anything can happen once free agency hits, but this isn’t the old Mets. Steve Cohen isn’t afraid to spend money if it’ll move the needle on the field. We’ve already seen him to a different approach with the players on his team, too:
Steve Cohen on having players come to his house for dinner (as he recently did with Edwin Díaz:
"They're important to me and I want to let them know that they're important to me. It's not just you give me performance and I pay you, I think it should be beyond that."
— Michael Mayer (@michaelmayer22) August 31, 2022
Is deGrom staying with the Mets a sure thing? No — there are few guarantees in life. But unless things have changed drastically over the past year or two, we know there is a desire for the right-hander to retire as a Met. Let’s hold onto that hope as New York makes a final push toward the playoffs and before the offseason hits, shall we?
More on ESNY:
• WATCH: Brandon Nimmo robs Dodgers’ Justin Turner of HR
• Yankees-Angels takeaways: Awful August ends with another whimper
• Yankees may finally see if Harrison Bader trade pays off
• Three keys to Mets’ Mark Canha enjoying a huge August
• Mike Francesa has well-timed thoughts on ‘guy talk’ vs. ‘sports talk’