It’s time the New York Mets give Jacob deGrom the extension he deserves.
The New York Mets are running out of time and patience with Jacob deGrom. Unfortunately for him, free agency is two years away. The Mets are in the driver’s seat and deGrom is just hoping to get a ride.
During the All-Star Break, deGrom’s agent more than suggested the Mets either trade his client or sign him to an extension. Every fan would agree it’s the latter they should do.
It will be tough for deGrom in free agency to earn the money he probably deserves. He’ll be 32 at the time, which is often an age when pitchers slow down.
This doesn’t mean the Mets should toy with their ace. Though they could come away victorious by putting him on the field every fifth day and seeing him toss gem after gem, the right thing to do is lock him up. The best comparison I can think of is the extension Corey Kluber signed with the Cleveland Indians.
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Like deGrom, Kluber blossomed late. It’s a little different in that deGrom didn’t get promoted until he was 26. Kluber was there a bit earlier, posting mediocre numbers through his first few seasons.
Then, from almost nowhere, Kluber won the Cy Young Award. He now has two in his back pocket along with many other brag-worthy accomplishments.
Following his 2014 Cy Young Award victory, the Indians wisely locked Kluber up to a five-year extension with two option years after. He’ll most certainly get them, too.
Kluber was a little younger when he signed this deal so the circumstances are different. That doesn’t mean a five-year extension for deGrom is off the table. To me, it sounds about right.
deGrom takes home $7.4 million this season. In Kluber’s age 31 year, he earned $7.7 million. deGrom is already a little bit ahead in dollars and cents. Kluber’s contract increases each year through 2021 up to a modest $14 million in the end with a chance for $18 million.
Any extension deGrom signs would cost more than the deal Kluber agreed to. Baseball finances have already chances in the three years since the Indians ace signed his deal.
Hypothetically, a five-year deal with a sixth and maybe even seventh-year option for deGrom may look too sweet for him to turn down. With an average annual income between $15-20 million, it gives deGrom the security he desires and may actually put more money in his pockets over the long-haul than if he went to arbitration in each of the next two seasons then tested free agency.
The Mets should aim to at minimum give deGrom a $100 million deal. This would include the buyouts in years six and seven.
As pricey at is sounds, this is the going rate for a player like deGrom. A year ago, the extension would have been significantly lower. Because they waited, every piggy bank in the Wilpons’ offices needs to be broken and every bit of loose change from the couch cushion must be included.
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deGrom deserves it. More importantly, the fans do.