Earlier today, Jacob deGrom’s agent gave a quote on the record that said the Mets should either sign their ace to a long-term contract or trade him now. The team should work with deGrom and his agent to make the extension happen.
This isn’t exactly new material here, as it was just over a month ago that it seemed the Mets could take control of the narrative surrounding their franchise by doing things like signing deGrom and fellow top-notch pitcher Noah Syndergaard to extensions. Not much has changed since then. The team’s 2018 season is still going terribly, deGrom remains an outstanding pitcher, and Jose Reyes is still getting regular playing time—an entirely separate, but significant, problem.
Right now, deGrom is the best pitcher in the game, and the Mets remain hesitant to spend money on top-notch talent. The deals signed with Yoenis Cespedes over the past few years have totaled up to an amount of money that would make this list of the team’s biggest signings of all time from 2015.
Throw in the fact that the team has just $92.5 million committed to 2019 payroll, $58 million committed to 2020 payroll, and zero dollars committed to 2021 payroll, and extending deGrom seems like even more of a no-brainer. And even those amounts are very likely inflated by David Wright’s salary, which drops to $15 million next year and $12 million the year after that but will be largely covered by an insurance policy on the contract unless Wright make an unexpected return to the field.
An argument can be made that the Mets might be better off trading deGrom for a major haul of prospects right now to build a stronger contending team in the not-too-distant future. But the franchise should send a different message by signing deGrom to the extension he deserves—and spending real money on talent when it’s available to them in perpetuity.