For much of the season Cardinals fans complained that the team never gave Triple-A shortstop Ryan Jackson a shot to replace Pete Kozma and now he’ll never get the chance.
He was claimed off waivers by the Astros, whose general manager Jeff Luhnow ran the Cardinals’ farm system when Jackson was drafted in the fifth round.
Jackson hardly projects as an impact player, but he’s considered a quality defensive shortstop and has hit .275 with a .714 OPS in 238 games at Triple-A. Last time the Astros claimed a Cardinals shortstop it was Tyler Greene and that didn’t go so well, but Jackson probably has a pretty good opportunity to win an Opening Day roster spot in Houston.
The Mets have a deal on a contract extension with ace Jacob deGrom. Andy Martino of SNY was the first to report the deal. The terms, per Ken Rosenthal: five years, $137.5 million with a club option for 2024. deGrom gets a full no-trade clause and has a potential opt-out after 2022.
Sale was slated to earn $17 million this year, so the deal contains $120.5 million in new money. There will be some restructuring, however, so it’s possible that his 2019 salary will be increased. The overall average annual value of the deal — which covers this year and next year, which would’ve been arbitration, and three potential years of free agency, is $27.5 million
Overall, the contract is very similar to the one Chris Sale just signed, even though he is a year further from free agency. deGrom will earn $107 million between now and his opt-out date. Sale will earn $105 million. Of course, if the doesn’t opt-out the deal runs through 2023, with that club option for 2024.
deGrom, the 2018 Cy Young Award winner has made no secret of his desire for a contract extension. He, likewise, has said he would not discuss the matter with the Mets after the start of the season on Thursday. This, then, is getting the job done, just under the wire.
deGrom is coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.70 ERA with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks across 217 innings. It’s the lowest ERA by a qualified starter since Zack Greinke‘s 1.66 in 2015. Prior to Greinke, no pitcher had posted an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in 1994-95 (1.56, 1.63).
deGrom will turn 31 years old in June. He’ll be 35 when the deal ends or, if the option is picked up, 36.