Call it a moment right out of the movie Jerry McGuire, only this time it is deGrom’s agent, Brodie van Waganen is playing Cuba Gooding Jr’s role in the film.
Van Wagenen dropped an ultimatum at the lap of the Mets front office when he told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that his client wants a long term deal, or, the franchise should consider trading deGrom this season.
“We have discussed Jacob’s future with the Mets at length. Jacob has expressed interest in exploring a long-term partnership that would keep him in a Mets uniform for years to come.
“If the Mets don’t share [the] same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now. The inertia of [the] current situation could complicate Jacob’s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.”
Van Wagenen later told the New York Post’s Joel Sherman that deGrom is not demanding a trade, but rather expressing his interest to remain with the team long-term. The agent added that the two sides have talked, but no formal numbers have been exchanged at this point.
DeGrom,30, is being paid $7.4 million this season by the Mets, and is arbitration eligible the next two years. deGrom has expressed a desire on multiple occasions that he wants to finish his career with the Mets.
If the Mets can keep deGrom long-term, they defiantly should explore it. deGrom has been one of baseballs best pitchers this season, posting a league best 1.68 ERA, in spite of pitching for a team that is 16 games under .500.
Moreover, deGrom has been the steadiest presence in the Mets rotation since he came up to the big leagues in 2014. While everyone was going gaga over Matt Harvey in 2013 and Noah Syndergaard in 2015 and 16, it has been deGrom who established himself as the Mets true ace.
Over 126 starts in his career, deGrom owns a 2.78 ERA, which is third best in franchise history Jesse Orosco and Tom Seaver. deGrom is also first in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.851. He has been the ultimate professional and deserves to be paid handsomely.
The problem is the Mets front office is a total conundrum. With Sandy Alderson out of the picture, the Mets are resting on a three-headed GM triumphant of John Ricco, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardo for the rest of the season. There is no telling what this trio may decide to do in the next two weeks before the trade deadline.
If the Mets feel they can get a great offer for deGrom, who will be 31-years old next season, they are going to explore it. If the Mets do trade him, they can’t accept the kind of return they got for Tom Seaver when they dealt him to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.
In addition, the Mets are expected to interview candidates for the GM job come September. There is a chance that the future head of the Mets baseball operations is sitting in an office outside of Flushing, Queens, New York. Would that person want to come into a situation where the Mets best asset was traded by three guys? Would this new General Manager want to be saddled with a long-term contract with a 30-year old pitcher?
These are legitimate questions. And this is the problem the Mets find themselves in. Logically New York should keep deGrom, but with each no decision and loss that he racks up because of little-to-no run support, the frustration will only grow.