Just a couple of days before the season began, the New York Mets ended the contract talks with ace pitcher Jacob deGrom by signing him to a contract extension. The deal is for five years and replaces deGrom’s current contract.
The deal is worth $137.5 million and includes an opt-out after 2022 and a full no-trade clause. There is a $32.5 million club-option for 2024 that could bring the value of the deal to $170 million. deGrom’s deal is tied with Johan Santana for the 14th biggest deal given to a pitcher, according to Baseball Reference, per Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post.
“This is a tremendous day for Jacob, his family, our fans and the entire Mets organization,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a news release, via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “Last year, Jacob had one of the most remarkable seasons in baseball history and we are excited to be able to reward him. Mets fans can celebrate knowing their ace will remain in Flushing.”
deGrom deserved the extension. He was the Mets’ best pitcher in 2018 and the lone highlight of a horrible season. Last year he went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA and 269 strikeouts. He was an All-Star for the second time in his career and he won the Cy Young Award.
deGrom’s 1.70 ERA was the fifth-lowest since they lowered the mound in 1969. He became the second pitcher since 1913 to have an ERA less than 2.00, over 250 strikeouts and less than 50 walks in a season. Those stats make deGrom the best pitcher in baseball right now and he deserves the money that comes with that designation.
When the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager, he said that the team is in a “win-now mode.” With deGrom, the Mets have a better chance to win as long as the offense does its job. If the Mets hadn’t given deGrom a new deal,, then there would be questions or would he go to another team via free agency.
Last year, there was talk about the Mets possibly trading deGrom to the New York Yankees, but that didn’t happen. Without deGrom, the Mets would have only one ace (Noah Syndergaard) and would need to find pitching for the rotation. A deGrom-Syndergaard combo is a solid foundation upon which a winner can be built.
The deGrom extension is a win for the Mets because they keep the best pitcher in baseball and he’s locked in for the next few seasons as the team tries to rebuild.