Nola and Severino contracts have impact on deGrom

Baseball free agency is a slow moving, ugly dance. Arbitration hearings show the ugliest side, although they are advertised as a civilized meeting to get to a contract agreement. In reality, they prove often to be “justified” character attacks on players by teams who often don’t want to budge on their contract offers. This moves to further splinter relationships between players and their teams. So far, the Mets have been lucky enough to avoid that with ace pitcher Jacob deGrom. With his one year, $17 million contract, deGrom will live another year knowing that he does not have long-term security.

Meanwhile, Aaron Nola and Luis Severino both agreed to contract extensions that have a maximum potential of five years this past week. While both of those pitchers are not on the same level as deGrom, they are both quality pitchers who have both finished third in a respective Cy Young race. Severino’s deal is worth $52.5 million over his five years, while Nola’s is worth $56.75 million. In Nola’s case, it is astonishing that they got a player that young to commit to a contract for such a reasonable price.

If Nola does indeed pitch like he did last season, the deal could be a serious bargain for the Philadelphia Phillies. Not only do they have Nola long-term, but it affords them the opportunity to be able to make a run at high priced free agents such as a Bryce Harper, or a Mike Trout in the not so distant future. If you are a Phillies fan, a deal like that is the perfect scenario. If you are a Mets fan, or deGrom, it could not be any more troubling.

The Mets, who seem to keep balking on the prospect of extending deGrom, have undoubtedly taken special notice of the deal the Phillies made with Nola. In an offseason that has seen such low numbers of players sign to teams, it was a bit out of left field to see a pitcher of Nola’s status to take an extremely team friendly deal. Nola signing that extension gives the Mets another weapon to use against deGrom in potential negotiations. Nola, in effect, lowered the bar and killed the momentum that MLB free agents had going against MLB teams.

Earlier in the offseason, Yasmani Grandal turned down a deal that was worth $60 million over four years from the Mets. His reason for rejecting the deal was that he did not want to lower the average salary that catchers would make. He instead settled for a one year deal with the Brewers worth $18.25 million. Nola and Severino rocked the boat in terms of taking a team friendly deal, and in effect, have made the contract situation with deGrom very interesting.

Whether or not you believe that deGrom should receive a large contract extension, it goes without saying that MLB needs to find a new way to handle free agency. With the way things are headed, and the relationships between players and teams becoming more and more splintered, it is evident that things need to change.

21 comments for “Nola and Severino contracts have impact on deGrom

  1. NYM6986
    February 16, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Mets need to ink Jake to a five year deal with an average near $30 mil per. Perhaps a little more backend loaded as a lot of contracts and money come off the books in 2020. Of course if Thor and Wheels have big years the overall payroll will need to jump. Anyway you slice it, salaries are out of hand. Also owner profits are likely higher than they report so you can’t blame the players for shooting for the moon. In the end it’s the fan that gets screwed since a decent seat along with some refreshments brings the game tab north of $100 a game. Heaven forbid you try to buy a Mets shirt at Citifield that is twice the price at Dick’s or Modell’s. At least this year the Mets chance of winning the game you might attend are better with the new acquisitions. Let’s get this party started.

  2. February 16, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Don’t see it having an effect on deGrom he’s had a great five year run and is closer to free agency think it has much more of an effect on Syndergaard.

  3. Pete from NJ
    February 16, 2019 at 9:25 am

    From a fan’s prospective, of course the man needs to be rewarded by management on a let’s say 5 years with $125 million.

    Yet both sides are playing the marketing game. The GM saying all the nice things. JDG saying or insinuating a “innings limit.”

    Tough talk here. I can understand management’s concern about putting up big cash on a pitcher’s arm and how it effects trading assets if things don’t go as planned.

    So comments about how the CBA needs to be changed, ect. This has always been a business now, 20 years ago and 100 years ago. Let’s sit back read the business aspects, debate and then talk about the game in the field starting in April.

  4. Mike Walczak
    February 16, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I know the owners make a lot of money, but they are the ones with the financial risk. I am really tired of players moaning and groaning about the freeze in free agency.

    As good as Harper and Machado are, neither is worth $ 300 million or $ 200 million.

    Just look at what Nola signed for and that is considered a bargain. $ 50 million is an unfathomable amount of money. Enough wealth for ten lifetimes.

    Baseball is our American sport and heritage. How many little kids would like to go to a major league game but the parents cant afford it. These kids aren’t able to make a connection to the game.

    As a kid, I couldn’t wait to run to the corner store to pay a nickel for a pack if baseball cards to see if I could get another Tom Seaver. Watched dozens of Met games in channel 9 in the summer.

    My mother who made very little money took me to a Met game at Shea. Upper Level box seat were seven bucks. I stood at the edge of the field and what my heroes warm up and play catch. I was hooked as a lifetime fan.

    Players should have reasonable minimum salaries and get paid for performance like the rest of us working stiffs.

    The whole system is out if control.

    • MattyMets
      February 17, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      Mike W – thanks for sharing that. You make a great point. MLB needs to do a lot more to attract the next generation of fans. Reserving some modestly priced seats is one way. Another is not having all the playoff games on so late at night.

      Instead of advocating for the owners or players, I’m for advocating for the fans. We’re ultimately the ones paying both of them. And whether the owners are greedy or cheap or the players are under/overpaid holds no bearing on ticket/concession/parking/merch prices which have all sky rocketed.

  5. jennifer
    February 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    “Nola signing that extension gives the Mets another weapon to use against deGrom in potential negotiations.”

    This makes the Mets look bad for not locking up deGrom in similar fashion in 2015/2016, That was their mistake, now Jake deserves the big money and unfortunately he plays for the Wilpons who cynically interviewed/hired his agent. If I was deGrom, I’d be pissed that Brodie is now on the other side of the table trying to suppress my earnings instead of advocating for me.

    Also, I find it sickening the way some fans are in knee-jerk fashion throwing deGrom under the bus for merely stating he’d have to talk to his agents about possible limiting workload. Fans acts like they own teams, with no caring at all how the workload might affect the player. Harvey, anyone? deGrom coming off a season of the ages and has been good/great consistently since 2014 and now fans are like, how dare he?

    I want the 30 clubs earnings/revenue exposed just like the players so finally we can throw the billionaires under the bus instead of the players who have earned their millions, esp someone like deGrom.

    • TJ
      February 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Just curious, if you are the owner, what deal for deGrom would you sign today?

      • jennifer
        February 16, 2019 at 7:54 pm

        5/150, but with the Wilpon-cheapness, I’m expecting more 5 at 125-135.

      • Chris F
        February 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

        Age 30-31, 2019, $17M
        Age 31-32, 2020, $25M
        Age 32-33, 2021, $22M
        Age 33-34, 2022, $22M
        Age 34-35, 2023, $22M
        Age 35-36, 2024, $20M

        6 seasons, 2019-2024, $128M

      • TJ
        February 17, 2019 at 7:02 pm

        OK, so I am in agreement to extend Jake as well…5/$150mil seems too high to me as there is no trade-off on the deGrom side for the two years of control the Mets still posssess. Chris’s offer of 6/$128mil seems too low from an AAV point of view. I’d offer 5/$125mil, which to me balances the trade off of control years and market value.

        Count me as a Wilpon detractor, but I suspect that the lack of traction on negotiations is due to the deGrom camp looking for a Grienke-type deal. I love Jake, who has been a great Met, but I would’t give any pitcher that deal, no less one two years from free agency. I am optimistic that they’ll find an agreement by opening day.

  6. NYM6986
    February 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Great take on the situation.

  7. Chris F
    February 16, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    I don’t see that either signing has any bearing on the Mets and deGrom. Both Severion and Nola are much younger and have not made real big league money until their extensions. In fact neither made an aggregate to be set for life. Meanwhile, after this season, without any contract intervention, deGrom is sitting at 30M$ salary. It will easily be 50M$ total salary before his existing contract expires. So deGrom is set for life now, and has the luxury of playing a different game. His age is also worthy of discussion and Im sure thats what BVW and the Mets are considering. He will be hitting 33 when he gets to FA….just curious, hows that been working out?

    I don’t see any parallels at all between those other guys and Jake.

    • TexasGusCC
      February 17, 2019 at 11:17 pm


  8. February 17, 2019 at 10:59 am

    The Economies and Labor-Management details of Major League Sports are convoluted—Jake would get 30 million over many years “On The Street” today, as a Free Agent…however, that’s leveraging the “artificial shortage” of signable talent.

    Neither the Mets nor Jake should pretend He’s a Free Agent…..the “dragging him along” has now made this a public thing—Jake can now very easily say “No Money No Pitch”…and that’s the line He’s now toeing with the public thoughts on innings limits for himself.

    He should become very rich now….slightgly less Rich than he would be if He were a Free Agent— the 4-5 at 25 per seems a reasonable accomodation for both sides.

    BTW….on the other end of things—Syndergaard should not throw a pitch without a deal right now….he’s waiting on Jake, and The Mets know it.

    • Chris F
      February 17, 2019 at 10:42 am

      Players have contracts to perform. I think the notion that a player can determine whether or not to go out under a signed contract is completely wrong. An able bodied player needs to go to work and play in the positions and for the durations they are told by their bosses. Anything short of that is breach of contract and would be pursuable legally. Neither Jake nor Noah are in a position to announce a threatening work stoppage under a present signed contract over a future contract for which the Mets are under zero obligation to offer. Furthermore, failing to report to work as a healthy player working on an agreed contract would severely damage any future interest.

      • Eraff
        February 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm

        Chris… respectfully, I call Bullshit on that. Guys can, Will, and do play their leverage—- otherwise, there’s no discussion of a jake contract right now, and certainly not at or near Market

        The real cue here is Syndrrgaard—- and the message to players is to sign an early extension…. more to come on that end throughout baseball.

        Time Has Come…. Noah’s about to get paid too…. I have no problem if he chooses to use his leverage. Personally, I wouldn’t throw a pitch if I were him.

  9. Chris F
    February 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Of course players play it up. And certainly agents want their clients to get paid more.

    But if you are thinking a worker who is capable to work, and is under contract to perform, and is being paid on a contract signed by the worker can decide to “not work” despite being receiving paychecks, you are 100% mistaken. Jake cannot limit his innings, nor can he choose not to play, nor can he asked to be traded – he (all players) do not have any say so like that at all. That is a complete contract violation for his own contract and against the rules of the CBA which is signed off by the MLBPA on behalf of the players. That would lead to utter chaos. If he refused to play, what would prevent ownership from stopping to make payments? I heard a Mets talking head mention this recently, noting Harvey’s innings limit in 2015. Nelson Figueroa laughed it off noting that Harvey was coming back from surgery, and so was not fully able-bodied; neither is the case for deGrom nor syndergaard.

    The Mets are not required to offer FA contracts to either player. Period. They cannot refuse to play under their present contracts.

  10. February 17, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Nonsense!,,,complete Nonsense. deGrom is already a Rich Man….and He can Get Richer. He can absolutely withold his services in Part or in full. The team can then withold pay….and they can all do what they’re doing now–each playing their leverage.

    Noah has lots of time—I wouldn;t throw a Baseball if I were Him…not if I wanted a Contract. Watch how this plays out across baseball. Guys are not “getting paid “later”–they will do what they need to do to gat paid get paid sooner. Guaranteed!

  11. Chris F
    February 17, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    That, quite frankly and most respectfully offered, is 100% contract violation and would result in serious outcomes. It is pure idiocy and will *never* happen. All this is Kabuki Theater during spring. It has absolutely zero meaning.

    Im in favor of changing the CBA to get younger players more money. I have written that multiple times in the past couple weeks. But there is zero legal mechanism to enact that in the present CBA.

    The Mets or any team have zero obligation to buy out FA years on a player. Thats what FA is. If Jake is unhappy, then he has his contract, and is being paid handsomely, and can choose to leave. But if he took your belly aching pay-me-more, extend-me-now-or-Ill-pout-like-a-6-year-old-and-take-first-base-home-with-me route, the outfall would set players back a generation.

  12. February 18, 2019 at 7:46 am

    The analytics are in place… everything old is new again! “The wrong side of 30” might actually be “The wrong side of 28”.

    The restrictive nature of Baseball’s FA has worked to vastly increase the signing values of the scarce numbers of players who can sell themselves “At Market”…. the reality of the analytic is that 30 ish guys don’t project so well–the Lesson has finally been learned and re-learned. The reality of the Free Agency process is that Players are almost never presenting themselves At Market during their prime. Players are drastically Over Priced during Free Agency…even those being presented in their Prime Years. This is because of the artificial Scarcity. Finally, the Anaytics of WAR itself have aided teams in hard line player evaluation and roster construction.

    Most Times, Large Contracts do not drive roster Success—certainly not as a Starting Point in Building Roster Quality.

    Teams cannot find Market Available players at “good Value”—and Players are not being rewarded during their prime performance years. Even top notch FA’s are finding tighter compensation formats.

    Citing the “Legality” of a contract is meaningless… either the Owners are going to push growing Revenues and Profits to their workforce, or there will be a work stoppage— that is reality, not that I believe it works for one side or the other.

  13. Chris F
    February 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Eraff, all things considered, your argument has had more mission creep than anything Ive seen in ages.

    1. You said Jake shouldnt throw a pitch without being paid. He just got one of the biggest arb jumps ever, and i think the biggest for a pitcher ever. He has been paid.

    2. Then you said, Noah shouldnt pitch again without a contract extension. He not even arb eligible right now and will be making 6M$. Yes, thats below market, but he is being paid. By the time hes a FA, he will be making in the 20M$ range.

    3. Then you shifted again to age and value, and general work stoppages, noting that youngers players in general should make more (I completely agree). My point is that the player have the strongest union in America, have been insulated from any economic shifts and have always grown. The MLBPA agreed to the present CBA. They will never advocate for their players to stop work on an agreed CBA.

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