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New York Mets may have waited too long to extend Jacob deGrom

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets heads back to the dugout after he struck out Ozzie Albies #1 of the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning on September 26,2018 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets heads back to the dugout after he struck out Ozzie Albies #1 of the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning on September 26,2018 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets haven’t made much progress in signing Jacob deGrom to a contract extension. Did they miss their chance?

When is the perfect time to extend a star player? The New York Mets, bitten by the David Wright contract because of the injuries that followed, may soon realize they waited too long with the one guy on the roster they desperately need to extend, Jacob deGrom.

We all want to see deGrom stay with the Mets for life. Until his arm literally falls off, I don’t think you will find a Mets fan who can stomach seeing him in another team’s uniform. Even then, a one-armed deGrom wearing an Atlanta Braves jersey is sickening.

Among the items on the to-do list for the Mets this winter, one is to see what it would take to lock up their ace long-term. deGrom, who is a clear favorite to win the Cy Young once the results are announced, would certainly love a big fat contract. However, his interest in getting one from the Mets may have passed.

deGrom is under team control for two more seasons, which hurts his chance at hopping in the driver’s seat in any negotiations. By the time he reaches free agency, deGrom will be what we would consider an older first-time free agent.

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Even if he’s pitching at his best, not many teams would be willing to pay him for his immediate future and past performances. Only the Mets would have justifiable cause to inflate the paycheck they hand him.

The greatest fear fans may face is seeing deGrom walk away. A trade is easier to accept because at least something is coming back in return and blame can go on the management. By departing through free agency, deGrom spurns the only major league fan base he has ever known.

Can we blame him, though? The Mets haven’t given deGrom the respect he deserves.

By this point, deGrom and the Mets should talk about an extension on a daily basis. They must know how vital he is to the team’s future. He also needs to realize that he’s one bad step off the mound from losing everything.

deGrom doesn’t need to bend the knee for the front office, which will now include his ex-agent, Brodie Van Wagenen in the general manager’s chair. He’s more than deserving of a contract extension similar to the one the Cleveland Indians handed to their ace, Corey Kluber. However, some concessions must be made on his part.

Playing Major League Baseball is about more than a big payday. deGrom will certainly look for the best chance to win a championship when he does contemplate his future. Even at his age when he does reach free agency, there’s a good chance he earns a fat stack wherever he ends up.

In the most recent offseason, Jake Arrieta took home $75 million guaranteed plus two years of a team option. He did this ahead of his age 32 season, making for a fair comparison to deGrom. The big difference between the two is that Arrieta managed to get this money from a different he had never played with before. deGrom’s chances of signing a similar deal with the Mets are even greater because of what he has done in the past.

Next. David Wright's best years with the Mets

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Now is the best chance to sign deGrom. The longer they wait, the more likely he’ll test free agency.

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