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Jacob deGrom’s agent says the Mets should trade him

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There have been on-again, off-again trade rumors regarding Mets starter Jacob deGrom for several weeks now. They’ve never been particularly serious. They’ve mostly been speculation about what the Mets could do with a big asset at a time when the team is losing a lot of games. Most folks close to the Mets have said that they do not think the club will trade deGrom but, rather, will attempt to sign him to a long term deal, be it sooner or later.

Today Ken Rosenthal spoke with deGrom’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA, and he does not sound at all optimistic that the Mets are willing or able to sign his client. In fact, he suggested that they consider trading him. From Rosenthal’s twitter account, quoting the agent:

“We have discussed Jacob’s future with the Mets at length. Jacob has expressed interest in exploring a long-term partnership that would keep him in a Mets uniform for years to come. If the Mets don’t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now. The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob’s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.”

There is some pretty apparent displeasure there, with some of it no doubt aimed at deGrom’s name coming up in trade rumors, which players really don’t like. And, it seems, displeasure with the progress those “discussions” he refers to about a long term deal for deGrom have made. Major League Baseball does not work like the NBA and teams are under no obligation to trade a guy simply when he demands one, but it’s not often you hear a player’s agent suggest a trade so explicitly as Van Wagenen did here.

deGrom currently leads the National League with a microscopic 1.68 ERA. He is eligible to become a free agent after the 2020 season, when he will be 32. He and the Mets had preliminary discussions about an extension this past offseason but they went nowhere, and the sides agreed to a $7.8 million arbitration-avoiding deal. He has two more turns through the arbitration process and could be making some serious money by then, but he no doubt would like to land a long term deal while he’s at his peak.

Which, sure, a lot of players who are working through arbitration want a long term deal. Not all of them get them, but they at least have a dialogue with the team that lets them know where they stand. The fact that deGrom is so frustrated with the Mets that he allowed his agent to make this kind of a statement suggests that the Mets have managed this process poorly and have left one of their biggest stars exasperated. It speaks volumes about their organization and approach to its biggest stars.

 

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.