August 4, 2020

Where Is DeGrom’s Extension?

The fact Jacob deGrom does not yet have a contract extension is beyond absurd. The New York Mets hired his agent Brodie Van Wagenen as their General Manager. As a result, the team hired the one man who actually knew what it would take for deGrom to sign an extension. In typical Mets fashion, the team fumbled it away.

Their first chance was when Van Wagenen was hired. At the time, the team had not yet added any payroll thereby giving them the luxury to allocate a portion of the extension to the 2019 budget. As we know, it never happened. Next, the team had the opportunity to use deGrom’s 2019 salary as leverage to negotiate the extension. The team passed on that opportunity.

In fact, as deGrom and Van Wagenen have confirmed the Mets have not made so much as an offer. It has led to deGrom being frustrated and contemplating following his agent’s advice in restricting his innings for the 2019 season. It has also led to his teammates, namely Todd Frazier and Steven Matz, speaking on his behalf and imploring the Mets to sign the team ace to an extension.

And yet, the Mets haven’t thought it necessary to step up to the plate to lock up their ace. They haven’t even with the knowledge of the discord it may create with their players, and they haven’t with the knowledge deGrom’s new agent is a proponent of pitchers limiting their innings. Further complicating matters is the fact deGrom and Noah Syndergaard have the same agent.

While the Mets have been fumbling their negotiations, or lack thereof, the Phillies have been able to negotiate an extension with Aaron Nola, and the Yankees were able to lock up Luis Severino. During the offseason, the Royals and Whit Merrifield agreed to a contract extension while the Rockies and Nolan Arenado are negotiating one.

Somehow these other teams were able to negotiate deals without having hired the one person who knew exactly the minimum dollar amount it would take to lock up their players. The fact the Mets have Van Wagenen handling deGrom’s contract extension and still cannot find a deal is at best puzzling and at worst incompetent.