Mets: Jacob deGrom’s contract is an even greater steal at $137.5 million
By Tim Boyle
Some of baseball’s top free agent pitchers are setting records this winter. Suddenly, the deal the New York Mets gave to Jacob deGrom looks like an even greater bargain.
In 2019, New York Mets ace and two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom earned $9 million. It’s no chump change, but compared to what he will earn over the next few seasons, it looks like a small allowance.
deGrom’s salary bumps up to $25 million in 2020 and reaches an even greater height in 2021 at $35.5 million. He’ll earn the same total in 2022 and has two more years after where he can make $32.5 million in each.
deGrom signed this deal just before the 2019 season began. It was a rather fair deal when considering his age and performance and perhaps even slightly under market value. Months later, it’s looking like an even greater bargain.
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A big topic of discussion from last winter was how many talented players were getting low-balled. Despite the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado deals and the contract extension received by Mike Trout, there was a perception that big dollars were not coming to many of the game’s stars.
Well, the most elite players are still getting paid. This includes deGrom.
Under his current five-year deal worth $137.5 million, deGrom is underpaid at a still reasonable price. Stephen Strasburg has already earned the highest contract for a pitcher in MLB history on a seven-year deal worth $245 million. Days later, Gerrit Cole received a massive nine-year deal worth a total of $324 million.
Prior to signing an extension with the Mets, deGrom was set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. Even as an older player than Strasburg and Cole, he would have had an opportunity to earn even more than he is right now. He’d have all of the leverage—something he lacked when the Mets did the wise thing and locked him up.
There are two qualities about deGrom that should convince us he’ll be a good pitcher for several more seasons. His late start in the big leagues means he has fewer innings on his arm. For a guy like Madison Bumgarner, the opposite is true. And during this winter’s free agency period, teams may pay him accordingly.
deGrom has also yet to have a bad season. His weakest in terms of ERA was in 2017 when he still managed to win 15 games for a pitiful Mets team. In the Cy Young race, he finished eighth.
The word “automatic” doesn’t describe deGrom enough.
Over the past two seasons, nobody has been a better pitcher than Jacob Anthony deGrom. His pair of Cy Young Awards prove so.
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The team made the obvious call in signing him to an extension. Thankfully for them, it seems to have come at a sale price.