If this offseason doesn’t make you want to raise your children to be baseball players, I don’t know what will. There has been a significant amount of money handed out this season, and the most surprising part is that most of it has come from contract extensions, not just the big ticket free agents like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Mike Trout was the recipient of the largest contract handed out this offseason, and, ever, with an unprecedented but well-deserved extension of 12 years and $426 million extension with the Angels. This move did two things for Mets fans. On one hand, it keeps him on the west coast, way out of the hands of Harper and the Phillies and in a place where he can do virtually no damage to the Mets and their playoff hopes.
On the other hand, it set off a wave of contract extensions of some of the more elite players in Major League Baseball. Paul Goldschmidt, Alex Bregman, Blake Snell, and Chris Sale all inked extensions with their teams this past week. Despite reports that talks are optimistic, Jacob deGrom has yet to put his name on the dotted line to extend his career with the New York Mets. His deadline to sign an extension, Opening Day, is now less than a week away.
There are several frustrating aspects about the lack of an extension. To start, deGrom has repeatedly stated that he would like to remain a member of the Mets organization, which is a rarity in today’s professional sports, where we see loyalty to one’s team run as thick as a sheet of paper in some cases. On March 12th, deGrom even told the Daily News on March 12th that “I would like to be a future part of this organization, we have until the end of spring so yeah, I’m still optimistic.”
If the Mets were to follow the league-wide trend of extending their star, it would not only make the fan base happy, but it would remove one task from the free agency period that will follow the 2019 season. The Mets will already be faced with the tall task of retaining Zack Wheeler, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the last pitch has been thrown of the 2019 season. Trying to retain Wheeler and deGrom during the same offseason might be too difficult a task for the organization, especially if they handle things the way that they have so far handled the deGrom extension.
Someone will eventually pay deGrom, whether it is the Mets or another team. The Mets have finally decided to honor the best pitcher in franchise history, Tom Seaver with a statue and a street name. It was unanimous that this was a long-overdue move, much like how many believe that a deGrom extension is overdue. Luckily for the Mets, Seaver could not walk out of their history books. The Mets can only hope and try to extend deGrom so he will not walk out on the team.