Minutes after Jacob deGrom told reporters that he would like the feeling to be mutual from the Mets regarding an extension and wouldn't rule out limiting his innings if he didn't get one, GM Brodie Van Wagenen sat behind the same microphone for his first presser of Spring Training.
"Yes, Jacob is 100 percent a part of our future now and hopefully for years to come," Van Wagenen said at the start of his roughly 20 minute session (with all but one question about deGrom).
Van Wagenen was expansive while discussing the deGrom situation, and gave a forthcoming response when asked how much of a priority it is to get a deal done with deGrom before the March 28 deadline the deGrom camp has set.
"I think it's important to make sure that we have clarity of his situation going forward," Van Wagenen said. "I don't view this as all or nothing. 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 new GM, who was deGrom's agent as co-head at CAA and made the '"trade him or pay him" request during last year's All-Star break, has been clear throughout the offseason about his desire to lock deGrom up long-term. And after deGrom said earlier Thursday that an offer hadn't even come yet, Van Wagenen confirmed that no offers had been made -- by either side.
When it comes to offers, though, Van Wagenen pointed out that while there hasn't been an official offer, the two sides have been in contact and parameters have been discussed. So, are the two sides in the same ballpark?
"Premature," he said. "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."
Van Wagenen declined to say whether he would make the first "official" move when it came to an offer, but said deGrom's agents will be coming to camp "soon" to continue talks.
"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 any potential of deGrom trying to control his workload if a deal isn't reached.
"I don't anticipate any concerns. ... we want to protect Jacob deGrom as much as Jacob deGrom and as much as his agents want to protect him. He matters to us not just during the regular season, but his impact is even more important for us during October."
Any lengthy contract for a pitcher -- especially one over 30 -- comes with risks. Van Wagenen acknowledged that, but said the team has no concerns about deGrom being able to remain healthy during any such extension.
"Any contract that we work through with Jacob -- whether we reach a resolution or whether the discussions don't materialiize into something significant -- it will be based on our understanding on what we think he can produce going forward," Van Wagenen said, adding that the organization will reach the decision together.
"I can assure you of one thing -- this organization will be on the same page. And whatever our actions are, they will be supported by all of us and we will proceed accordingly."