Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that pitcher Jacob deGrom‘s camp is “disappointed” due to the lack of substantive talks about a contract extension. deGrom, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and a free agent after the 2020 season, avoided arbitration with the Mets last month, agreeing to a $17 million salary for the upcoming campaign.
This situation is particularly intriguing because the Mets’ new GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, used to represent deGrom as part of Creative Artists Agency. Van Wagenen has been one of few active GM’s this offseason, having acquired Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz while signing Jeurys Familia, Jed Lowrie, Wilson Ramos, and Justin Wilson. According to ESPN, the $79 million the Mets have committed to players this offseason is fourth-most in baseball behind the Nationals ($188 million), Yankees ($140.055 million), and Dodgers ($107.4 million) and just ahead of the Red Sox ($74 million) and Phillies ($73 million).
Clayton Kershaw may serve as a basis of comparison for a deGrom extension. After winning his second career Cy Young Award following the 2013 season, the Dodgers signed Kershaw to a seven-year, $215 million extension. Additionally, Max Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals as a free agent four years ago while David Price inked a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract with the Red Sox in December 2015. Also in December 2015, then-free agent Zack Greinke inked a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks. So, a deGrom extension would likely be in the six- or seven-year range north of $200 million in total.
On his way to winning the Cy Young Award last year, deGrom went 10-9 with a major league-best 1.70 ERA and a 269/46 K/BB ratio in 217 innings. He nearly won the award unanimously, getting 29 of 30 first-place votes. Scherzer got the only other first-place vote.