In week two of the Jacob deGrom contract extension saga with the New York Mets, a pair of New York Yankees had a few interesting words to say about the situation.
You know by now that Jacob deGrom is leading the headlines down in Spring Training because of his willingness to possibly put a limit on the number of innings he pitches in 2019 unless he gets a contract extension. The New York Mets ace has been subtly outspoken since last year’s All-Star Break about his future with the organization.
While deGrom gears up to win another Cy Young Award in Port St. Lucie, two New York Yankees pitchers had comments about him over in Tampa.
He had a few things to say, but my favorite or least favorite depending on how you look at it, was the following:
"“He’s going to get his money anyway. deGrom has only one year left with arbitration. He’s going to make a lot of money.”"
It’s odd to see Severino, a guy who just got paid big bucks in the same way deGrom would like to, speak negatively about Big Jake. Granted, there’s only one correct response for an opposing team’s player to give: “That’s his business. Why should I answer your question?
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Yankees’ campgrounds, Paxton had this to say:
"“deGrom was pretty outspoken last year about how frustrated he was, but the Mets did put together a better team. Who knows what his stance would be toward the end of the season if he was reaching that innings limit that he wanted to stick to.”"
First of all, deGrom didn’t mention his frustration publicly once all year long. What is Paxton talking about?
Paxton doesn’t have a reputation around baseball as the Joan Rivers of MLB. He should, however, have enough common sense to not speak on something he is ill-informed about.
I’ll give Paxton a pass because he did something we’re all guilty of at times; he assumed.
If Paxton was in deGrom’s situation, he would have likely voiced his displeasure. Who wouldn’t? I would have behaved like an infant.
One of the biggest stunners from deGrom’s 2018 season was his ability to keep cool throughout the year. Other than Brodie Van Wagenen’s “trade or extend him” comments at the All-Star Break, deGrom maintained his poise and did everything asked of him. He was the best pitcher in the National League by a wide margin. He was the only man other than Christian Yelich to receive an MVP vote.
Paxton would also add:
"“If the Mets were close to a playoff spot, I would imagine that he’d want to keep on pitching and go for that postseason berth and try to go for a championship because that’s just kind of engrained in players because of how competitive we are. I’m sure that his competitive nature would take over at that point, but who knows? It may depend on how the Mets’ season goes.”"
I’m willing to give Paxton the benefit of a doubt. He likely wasn’t expecting questions about deGrom, a man he may or may not have ever met.
As someone in a similar position as deGrom contractually with an injury history to scare off any future suitors, I expected more from the new Yankees’ southpaw. At the very least, where’s the brotherhood?
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Several players have spoken up this offseason about the state of salaries and how the market seems disinterested in many free agents. Comments like these won’t help the greater cause these players are trying to achieve. Next time, it’s probably best to plead the fifth.