New York Mets need to give Jacob deGrom whatever he wants
By Edward Lennon
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom wants an extension and the team doesn’t look ready to give him one just yet.
After winning the 2018 National League Cy Young Award and receiving a record raise for an arbitration-eligible player last January, it is time for the New York Mets to sign Jacob deGrom long-term. The Mets’ ace, who is not scheduled to become a free agent until after the 2020 season, told the Mets that he would not negotiate a new contract after Opening Day.
It is time for the Mets to face it, surprise the league, extend deGrom and blow him away with an offer he deserves. Whatever it takes, they need to extend him.
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For parts of last season, the Mets were only watchable every fifth game when deGrom took the mound. He was the essence of their franchise and set MLB records, going 26 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer. Winning the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, being a crucial part of their postseason runs in 2015 and 2016, and being purely dominant over the past two seasons, deGrom has been the ace of this franchise since he arrived in the big leagues.
deGrom’s 1.70 earned run average led the National League by over half a run. He has been purely dominant. The 30-year-old has expressed how he wants to stay with the team and finish his negotiations for a long-term extension before the season. However, the question is: how big can this deal get?
After the Washington Nationals signed Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract in December, deGrom’s expectations for his contract raised. His higher innings total and lower ERA over the previous three seasons shows why the Mets’ ace deserves a better deal.
The contract that is being speculated is similar to Zack Greinke’s deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015, 6-years for $206.5 million. Greinke also posted an ERA that year below 2 and led the league in that stat as well.
deGrom has been a proven leader and an All-Star that makes their rotation one of the best in the MLB. The Mets need him long-term if they expect to make any runs towards the postseason.
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More importantly, the team should want a happy deGrom on the mound. They should not let a contract get in the way of their best starting pitcher and one of the best pitchers in franchise history.