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.
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.