Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Jacob deGrom just completed the most compelling season for a Mets pitcher since R.A. Dickey's surprise Cy Young campaign in 2012 … and we know how that one ended. The Mets proved six years ago that they are not averse to trading an award winner, if it sets them up for the future.
So where does that leave the team with deGrom, heading into a pivotal offseason for the franchise?
Remember, at the All-Star game, deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen made news by nudging the Mets to either offer a contract extension or consider a trade. That statement did not provoke either outcome, at least not immediately.
After toying with the idea of initiating a rebuild by trading deGrom, as the White Sox did with Chris Sale in 2016, the Mets backed off. By the time the July 31 trade deadline arrived, it had became clear that the team was almost totally unwilling to entertain the notion of moving its ace.
But there has been no movement on the extension front, either. The Mets have been trying to survive since June without a general manager. Their focus now is on narrowing down the list of candidates for GM or president of baseball operations.
Once that person is in place -- and the search is still wide open enough that Van Wagenen himself has emerged as an internal suggestion -- he or she will help to determine a way forward with deGrom.
While the Mets control deGrom for two more seasons, he has the option to lean on them, both in public and private, and try to force a resolution. People close to deGrom stress that he wants to both win and be paid fair market value -- both reasonable desires. If the Mets are willing to go all-in on next year, and surround deGrom with more talent, then it's easy to imagine him wanting to stay.
But if the team treads water both with contention and deGrom's future, the situation could get interesting. Like most issues with the Mets right now, this is a situation that could still go many different ways.