Jacob deGrom will reportedly earn $7.4 million this season after he and the Mets avoided arbitration and agreed earlier this month to a one-year contract.
This is a bargain for a guy that has already won Rookie of the Year, pitched in the All Star Game, is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in the postseason, has made 107 career starts, has a 3.07 career ERA, and set a career-high for wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched last season.
I bet Jake is better this coming season than he was in 2017, if for no other reason than Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland almost certainly will have a positive impact on him.
"I enjoyed my time playing for Terry, but I'm excited to see what somebody else brings to the table," deGrom recently told Daily News reporter John Harper. "I've talked to Mickey a few times, and I think it's going to be a popular change."
In other words, if everything goes as planned, he's clearly going to contend for a Cy Young award in 2018, after which the Mets will regret not signing him this winter to a contract extension...
They were expected to explore a multi-year extension, Jon Heyman said in November for FanRag Sports. However, the two sides instead locked in a one-year, short-term resolution...
DeGrom, 29, is under team control and again eligible for arbitration in 2019 and 2020, after which he is can become a free agent.
MLB executives recently told me he should be offered a four-year, $50-60 million deal, with two option years each worth $16-17 million.
In return for one year of free agency and the option to be retained in 2022 and 2023 for less than he'd likely make on the open market, by accepting, deGrom would have guaranteed himself significant money during his final three seasons of arbitration without worrying he might blow it with an injury or poor performance.
I'm sure the Mets considered the above, but it would likely have meant paying him more than the $7.4 million he agreed to accept before going to arbitration. I suppose they could have kept the same salary for 2018, but -- to get deGrom to accept a long-term deal -- it almost certainly would have meant needing to pay him close to $20 million or more in his final season.
In either case, deGrom should feel he's worth every penny coming to him...
According to FanGraphs.com, deGrom's 16.3 WAR during the last four seasons were worth more than $120 million. The Mets have paid him between $5-6 million. This is the system. I don't begrudge the Mets and neither should deGrom. But, he's clearly the best, most consistent, trusted pitcher on their staff. I admire and appreciate Noah Syndergaard, who I also think will compete for a Cy Young award this season. However, at this point, if every pitcher on the roster is healthy, deGrom is the guy I trust most to pitch a one-game playoff.
He's also the guy I feel is most likely to go the next four seasons without experiencing a major injury. He's already had Tommy John surgery, dealt with multiple adjustments, had his ligament realigned and looked as strong as ever last season. And, from what I can tell, there is nothing in his mechanics to suggest he's a candidate for shoulder problems.
He's intelligent, mentally tough, and unfazed by New York. If he's not worth inking to an extension to try and swap arbitration money for free agent years then I don't know who is...