Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Chris Carlin and John Harper. Two wonderful men. Mentors even, at different stages of my career. That's why it is painful for me to report this morning that both -- who, as recently as yesterday, were New York's best baseball columnist, and its top sports radio voice -- have lost their damn minds.
Here's the backstory. After writing yesterday that the Mets need Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to save their season, I was surprised by the volume of tweets I received from Mets fans arguing that the team should start a rebuild by trading both. But I thought, whatever. Those are the Twitter crazies. Reasonable people wouldn't think this.
Then, I got in the car and turned on my radio. My first stop is often WFAN's CMB, featuring Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott. That show keeps getting better and better, by the way.
Or so I thought. Yesterday, the trio shocked me by actually dignifying the idea that it was time for the Mets to consider trading their top two pitchers. They took calls on it. They debated it. Then this morning, a source with close ties to Carlin confirmed that he would advocate for dealing at least deGrom.
Oh well, I thought. He's a radio guy, after all. He's not paid to make sense.
But then I saw Harper's column, and the Daily News back page featuring Syndergaard and deGrom in Yankees uniforms (look, I'm a troll, too. Game recognizes game, and I liked that Photoshop). The backbone of Harp's argument was sound, as always: With the Braves and Phillies about to pass the Mets in young talent, the aging Mets need to consider all options.
But his conclusion, that one of those considerations should be to consider dealing Syndergaard and deGrom?
Here's my view: The Mets are deeply flawed, but as long as they have those two pitchers, they will have a chance to contend in the wild card era. That is why they should offer deGrom a five-year, $90 million extension this season, and Syndergaard a six-year, $100 million deal. My reported hunch is that both players would have that conversation, and numbers like that would start a productive negotiation.
It hasn't been the Mets' style to do this with their young pitchers, but locking up both during a transitional time would signal to their fans that they're not about to punt on the next few seasons, or concede the city to the Yankees again. It would bring credibility to the franchise when fans are starting to get antsy. And, most importantly, it would solidify the team's strength, while it figures out many other questions.
Just don't tell Harper and Carlin about this. They're too busy being crazy.