NY Mets: Three best moves from the Brodie Van Wagenen era
By Mason Smoller
1) Extending starting pitcher Jacob deGrom
Back in 2015, who knew where the Mets starting pitchers stood long-term. Which would go onto being the ace? Could it be Matt Harvey? Rookie sensation Noah Syndergaard? Would Zack Wheeler become the ace upon his return?
Instead, it turned out to be the late-blooming shortstop turned starter Jacob deGrom.
Making his debut at 26-years old in 2014, deGrom quietly became better every year. He won National League Rookie of the Year and made the All-Star game his second season. deGrom pitched well over the next two seasons until taking it to another level from 2018 on. He posted one of the greatest single-season performances in history at 30-years old. In 32 starts, deGrom posted a 1.70era in 217 innings, striking out 269 with a 1.98FIP.
That year, deGrom won his first Cy Young award, as Van Wagenen knew it was time to lock him up long-term. After all, deGrom only stood behind Tom Seaver for the lowest earned run average in team history. That March, Van Wagenen extended deGrom on a five-year deal worth north of $137-million, with a player option for a sixth year.
As it is now known, deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He followed up his historic 2018 season with another Cy Young in 2019 and was a finalist this past year. deGrom is signed through 2023, to which he will be 35-years old should he chose to opt-out.
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Without a doubt, headlines as one of the few great moves made by former Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.