Mets pitchers and catchers reported on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie and it didn’t take long before a big story emerged.
Early Tuesday afternoon it was reported that Jacob deGrom and his agent, Jeff Berry, had given the Mets an Opening Day deadline for extension talks.
At first, it was said that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen did not plan to comment on the news. That quickly changed.
Van Wagenen spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon with his opening statement being that the Opening Day deadline was a mutual understanding between the Mets and deGrom, “there is no reason for a distraction to carry into the regular season and we will continue to have dialogue over this spring and see where those discussions lead, but the last thing either side wants is this to be a distraction once the season starts.”
Matt Ehalt of The Record reported that the Mets have yet to give deGrom an offer and that some frustration is building.
DeGrom is coming off a dominant 2018 season in which he won the 2018 National League Cy Young award.
Van Wagenen did say that he’s involved in the deGrom extension talks, he previously had to recuse himself Jacob’s arbitration negotiations. He met with Berry in Las Vegas during the winter meetings to gauge deGrom’s interest in an extension.
DeGrom will make $17 million in 2019 after agreeing on a record $9.6 raise through arbitration. He will be arbitration eligible for a final time after the 2019 and then will become a free agent following the 2020.
Van Wagenen realizes how important it is to extend the Mets’ ace as he told Mike Puma of the New York Post, “From my standpoint, Jacob, we care about him and he knows we care about him. He knows how important he is to the organization and it will be my job to make sure there is no strained relationship no matter what takes place.”