Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo BREAKING: the Mets and Jacob deGrom have agreed to a five-year contract extension, source confirms. It includes a 2024 club option and an opt-out after 2022.
I’m honestly pretty surprised. All spring long it looked like the Mets were going to do everything possible to lose their best asset.
Don’t get me wrong, from a business perspective, it doesn’t make much sense to pay DeGrom. He’s already had one Tommy John surgery, and throws way harder than his body should be capable of. More importantly, thanks to DeGrom getting a late start to his career, he’s already 30 years old. He may seem like he’s still an up and coming pitcher but the reality is, he’s at the tail end of his prime. Signing him to a long term deal now is asking for trouble.
Baseball is broken. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado didn’t sign deals until Spring Training had already begun. Situations like this show you exactly why it’s heading for a strike.
It’s a sport where team’s control you for so long, they basically get your best years on the cheap. When you finally hit free agency you get paid for what you’ve done, not exactly what you’re going to do. Teams have finally realized this and have become a lot more skeptical when handing out free agent contracts. From a business standpoint it made sense for the Mets to waver.
But then the players started speaking up, most notably Noah Syndergaard. Some may say it’s not their place but if the clubhouse feels that the team is purposely slighting their best player, what do you think they’re going to do to them? After watching this off-season how can you believe that they’re trying to win?
As for DeGrom, it’s great that he’s finally getting paid. None of the Mets big time pitchers deserves it more than him. His performance in Game 1 against the Dodgers and then somehow grinding out six innings with garbage stuff in Game 5 should have earned him the contract right there. Despite all the hype around Harvey and Syndergaard, DeGrom has quietly been the best one all along.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic for Jake. He’s been my favorite Mets pitcher since I saw him and his mop come out of the bullpen in the first televised Spring Training game of 2014.
But even when the Mets do something good it shines a light on all the negative with the franchise.
DeGrom will end up costing the Mets more per year than Bryce Harper would have. In fact, it would have been cheaper for the Mets to have signed Harper and DeGrom and simply not traded for Robinson Cano.
Instead, the Mets took on a ton of salary for an aging player who’s numbers are regressing. Then they said that financially they couldn’t afford Harper (which in and of itself is a bullshit statement – every team can afford him). If you can’t afford to spend that kind of money how can you afford to pay a 36 year old second baseman, and 30 year old pitcher?
The Mets keep saying they’re trying to win but keep taking the most half-assed routes to get there. Yes, the Jay Bruce money went the other way in the Cano deal but that was only $14 million. DeGrom isn’t getting paid until next year. You could have just eaten Bruce’s contract for less money then it’s costing to keep Cano around!
This is also a team that is forcing Devin Mesoraco, the guy who became DeGrom’s personal catcher when he won the Cy-Young last year, to retire. Because Tomas Nido may be just a bit better hitter as a backup catcher. A backup! Just give the job to Mesoraco and let him play once every five days for the betterment of your best pitcher!
Instead they’re going with the guy with a .181 career batting average who hit .179 this spring (Mesoraco hit .231). They’re also in talks to sign Rene Rivera, who was Syndergaard’s personal catcher two years ago. But hey, at least they’re paying DeGrom.
That’s the Mets for you. A win-now team that’s always operating in win-now mode but not actually making win-now moves.
At least I get to watch DeGrom once every five days for the next five years. I’m excited about that. I truly am. I love watching the guy pitch no matter how bad the Metsies are. He puts butts in the seats and for that reason alone he deserves to get paid (you know who else puts butts in the seats?).
The unfortunate part is that he’s pitching for a team with no plan. Jake has pitched five innings in the World Series in his career. His World Series ERA is 7.10. Unfortunately as long as he’s with the Mets there’s little reason to think he’ll get a chance to lower that.