3. Jacob deGrom should be a career Met
The first two reasons are on-field, but the last one is sentimental. Jacob deGrom, if he wants to return, should be a career Met. Winner of two Cy Young awards, multiple elite seasons, deGrom is arguably the best pitcher to ever pitch for the Mets and easily one of the five best players to ever take the field for the New York Mets.
Much like Michael Conforto last season, deGrom hitting the market shows a failure of the past regime, failing to re-sign and maintain the key players of the last successful Mets team - the 2015 World Series squad. deGrom, the ace for that team, was one of the last few players on that roster and should be honored as a Met for it. A team with such a up-and-down history, the best players in Mets history often leave for other places or traded - Daryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Tom Seaver - while some had history elsewhere before having successful moments with the Mets - Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana and Keith Hernandez.
Does that mean the Mets should offer Jacob deGrom $500 million and partial ownership of the franchise? No. However, New York should offer deGrom a great deal that makes deGrom happy - and maybe even the highest-paid pitcher ever on a per season basis - and one that shows him his value as a current player and a future Mets great. In turn, that makes the future “Jacob deGrom day” events mean more, the eventual retiring of his jersey, the old-timers day with his appearance; all means just a little bit more if the Mets were to retain deGrom.
The New York Mets have plenty of work to do this offseason and it starts with the retaining of Jacob deGrom. Despite wanting to opt out from the beginning of spring training, New York should use the window directly after the World Series, a time where teams can negotiate with their free agents before they hit the market, to lock down deGrom to a respectable contract.
Not only are the Mets in a win-now mode and that should push both sides to do a deal, but the Mets are in the midst of a remodel of their starting rotation. That remodel could go a bit easier knowing deGrom and Scherzer sit at the top of the rotation. Finally, I would hate to mention the emotional side of baseball, but being able to watch Jacob deGrom pitch his entire career as a Met would be great for Mets fans, something Steven Cohen has kept in mind with most recent tactics in restoring the organization.
Whatever happens, happens, but the New York Mets should be aggressive in bringing back Jacob deGrom for on and off-the-field reasons.