Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer take next steps toward rejoining Mets

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NEW YORK — Mets aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer took their next steps toward returning to New York’s rotation.

DeGrom, sidelined since last July 7, threw 27 pitches to hitters in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and could progress to a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after watching on video from Citi Field. “Tomorrow, if he feels well, we’ll probably be able to talk about that next step.”

A two-time Cy Young Award winner, the 34-year-old right-hander missed the second half of last season because of right forearm tightness. He returned and made spring training starts on March 22 and 27, then was sidelined by a stress reaction in his right scapula that caused inflammation. He did not throw another bullpen session until June 4.

“He hasn’t had anything that has taken him off schedule so far,” Showalter said. “You can tell he’s upbeat about where he is. The body language, more than anything.”

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, has been sidelined since straining his left oblique muscle while pitching against St. Louis on May 18. He was to make his second rehab start for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Wednesday night, taking the mound against the Hartford Yard Goats.

“I was going to send him a ‘good luck with the Yard Goats,’ but I don’t think he’d take it well,” Showalter said. “I think I will, anyway.”

Scherzer threw 65 pitches last Tuesday for Binghamton against Reading, allowing two runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk.

After agreeing to a $130 million, three-year contract, baseball’s highest average salary, Scherzer is 6-2 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.