Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Amidst an avalanche of extensions throughout Major League Baseball, the Mets were dealing with an Opening Day deadline to extend Jacob deGrom, consternation from one of his teammates about the contract talks, and an anxious fan base. In the end, the extension got done. And it was a huge win for both sides.
The 30-year-old deGrom, who the Mets locked up to a five-year extension worth $137.5 million -- as first reported by SNY's Andy Martino -- got his deserved payday. And the Mets get to keep their ace long-term.
Why it's a win for deGrom
DeGrom, despite being the reigning Cy Young award winner and arguably the best pitcher in baseball, was two seasons away from getting paid his worth before he got his extension from the Mets. And despite already having Tommy John surgery behind him (in 2010), the risk of pitching the next two seasons without that big payday had to be weighing on him. Now, he has his security.
Beyond the money is the fact that deGrom genuinely wanted to be a long-term part of the Mets, as he repeated over and over between last season and just a few days ago. Now, he has the chance to be the first wire-to-wire homegrown ace in Mets history.
While deGrom didn't get the biggest deal ever for a pitcher in terms of average annual value, his deal is worth $27.5 million annually -- just a shade behind the $29 million Chris Sale will get per year on his new deal with the Red Sox. Sale getting a bit more seems fair given his age (29), his longer track record, and the fact that he was one year closer to free agency.
In his new deal, deGrom also received a full no-trade clause and has an opt-out after the 2022 season -- two huge carrots.
Why it's a win for the Mets
This is a huge move both on and off the field, with the team getting to keep their ace through at least the 2022 season while also avoiding the drama that would've ensued had they failed to get this done. The Mets also got it done at a price that -- as noted above -- is fair for both sides.
There were some rumblings that deGrom wanted $32 million annually. If the Mets had given him that, they would've basically been paying him market value two years early -- removing any incentive for locking him up now. Instead, they got him for less.
Locking up deGrom is also a huge win for GM Brodie Van Wagenen, whose players-first mantra has been uttered by him and on display since he took the job. He spoke repeatedly about wanting to keep deGrom long-term, and backed that up by getting a seal of approval on the deGrom deal from ownership.
There's also the off-the-field factor that has nothing to do with deGrom, and everything to do with his teammates. By giving deGrom his money after pledging that they wanted to give deGrom his money, the Mets have shown the other players on the team (and players around the league) that Van Wagenen's words have meaning -- and that their desire to contend now and in the future is more than words.