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Jacob deGrom won’t negotiate with Mets after Opening Day

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When last we checked in on Jacob deGrom and the Mets, the reigning Cy Young Award winner was not pleased that talks about a long-term contract extension were not going forward. Now we learn that, if they’re going to proceed, they had best proceed quickly. Mike Puma of the New York Post reports:

After a winter of inactivity in long-term contract discussions, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner has informed team officials he will not negotiate a new deal during the season, an industry source told The Post on Tuesday. DeGrom’s camp has set Opening Day as the deadline to complete any potential long-term deal.

That’s about six weeks.

de Grom avoided arbitration with the Mets last month, agreeing to a $17 million salary for the upcoming campaign, but he obviously wants to secure his long-term future. The Mets should want to do that too, and signing deGrom to an extension seems like a no-brainer. But then again so does doing things like signing Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and there are 30 teams who seem pretty uninterested in that at the moment too. Baseball in 2019.

As Bill wrote last week, deGrom is worth a $200 million+ extension. Clayton Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million extension after the 2013 season. Max Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals as a free agent four years ago. David Price signed a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract with the Red Sox in December 2015. That same winter Zack Greinke inked a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks.

deGrom went 10-9 with a major league-best 1.70 ERA and a 269/46 K/BB ratio in 217 innings last year, picking up 29 of 30 first-place Cy Young votes.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.