Jacob deGrom's agents from CAA, including lead agent Jeff Berry, have arrived at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie as deGrom's Opening Day deadline to work out a contract extension looms.
SNY's Andy Martino reports that there has still been no official offer made during the negotiations, but the sides will keep talking all spring.
DeGrom spoke at length last Thursday about his desire for an extension, seemingly upset with the fact that no official offer had come. He then refused to rule out placing a self-imposed limit on his workload this season if a deal isn't reached.
Shortly after deGrom spoke, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated his desire to keep the ace long-term ("Yes, Jacob is 100 percent a part of our future now and hopefully for years to come"), and gave a forthcoming response when asked about the priority level of locking deGrom up.
"I don't view this as all or nothing," Van Wagenen said. "I view this as a continuing part of our relationship with the player. ... As we look forward, we want to make sure that we have the eye on the prize in the near-term and the long-term, and don't get tunnel vision thinking that there is more negative impact or more drama than there necessarily is."
The arrival of deGrom's agents was expected, with Van Wagenen saying last week that a plan had already been set in motion for them to talk face-to-face.
"We'll sit down with them, we'll talk to them, and then we'll have our process go forward in an organic fashion," Van Wagenen said, noting that he wasn't cocerned about the potential of deGrom trying to control his workload if a deal isn't reached.
So are the two sides on the same page when it comes to what it will take to extend deGrom?
"Premature," Van Wagenen said last week. "Too early to tell. ... "I have no doubt that the two sides will know eachother's positions if nothing else by the end of camp, and hopefully we'll be on the same page."
During his talk with reporters last week, deGrom gave the impression that the ball is in the Mets' court. He has been up front since last season's "pay me or trade me" request from Van Wagenen -- then deGrom's agent -- that he wants to remain with the Mets long-term. And nothing has changed.
"The line of communication is still open," deGrom said last Thursday in Port St. Lucie. "We have not received an offer. ... I really enjoy playing here and would like to be here, but that's kind of up to them. ... I would like to be part of this team's future," deGrom said. "Would like the feeling to be mutual, but that's just something we are gonna have to see."
The 30-year-old deGrom, earning $17 million this season via arbitration, is under team control in 2020 in what is his final year of arbitration. If he isn't extended before then, he will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.
Any potential deal deGrom signs would buy out his final year of arbitration and multiple free agent years. The benefit for the Mets would be a slightly below-market extension for the best pitcher in the sport. The benefit for deGrom would be getting his enormous payday almost two years before he would otherwise get it -- giving him security.
"As a player, you would like to be thought of as a future part of the organization," deGrom said last Thursday.
With deGrom's agents now in town, we may soon find out if the Mets are about to put their money where their mouth is.