Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated on Tuesday that the Mets want to keep Jacob deGrom for the long-term. Now, there's a deadline.
DeGrom -- who is under team control for two more seasons -- has set an Opening Day deadline to get a potential extension done, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed. The Mets open the season March 28 against the Nationals.
Mets brass met with deGrom's representatives from CAA at the Winter Meetings this past December in Las Vegas (minus Van Wagenen, who was recused because he used to be deGrom's agent), and left with the expectation that a long-term offer was coming. The offer still hasn't come.
Martino reported on Feb. 5 that if an extension doesn't get done, deGrom could potentially impose innings restrictions on himself -- something that remains a possibility.
Meanwhile, Van Wagenen said Monday that the goal remains locking deGrom up.
"Our goal is definitely to have him be a part of this future beyond the two years that he has remaining under his control," Van Wagenen said Monday on WFAN with Mike Francesa. "He knows we want him to be a part of it. Whether or not we can ultimately agree on something, or whether the timing is now or whether it's down the road, there will be no mistaking the fact that he is a franchise player for us that we hope can be that for years and years to come."
"At this point, I don't think there's any drama," Van Wagenen added Tuesday.
There's certainly some drama now.
The 30-year-old deGrom is earning $17 million this season in what is his second-to-last year of arbitration. He has been clear over the last eight months about being open to a long-term deal, just like Van Wagenen has been clear since taking over about wanting to extend him.
Before becoming Mets GM, Van Wagenen -- then the co-head of CAA Baseball and deGrom's agent -- made waves during last year's All-Star week when he suggested the Mets should extend deGrom or trade him.
Van Wagenen acknowledged during Monday's appearance with Francesa that he is in a bit of an odd position now that he's the one overseeing the deGrom situation.
A long-term extension at this point would make sense for both sides -- as has been the case since the middle of last season.
For the Mets, they would lock up the best pitcher in baseball at what should be at least a bit below market value. For deGrom, he would get his enormous payday two years before he would otherwise get it via free agency -- something that would guard against an injury between now and then imperiling it.