Mack - Q and A: Jake


Mack asks –

Let’s get back to basics with the Q and A.

We’ve discussed the pros and cons of trading Jake deGrom.

Here’s the question…

Should we open the vault, like we did for Cespedes, and extend our future Cy Young winner through the 2023 season?

Michael Maar says –

           Yes, the Mets should extend Jake.  It's a tough call, because I can't say that it would be an outright mistake to trade Jake for a boatload of young talent considering the Mets roster and the state of their minor league system.  I'd just prefer that they keep cool heads and sign Jake to be their ace for the next 5 or 6 years.  I do feel that barring major injury, he has the body type and bulldog attitude that it takes to be successful way into his 30's.  Hopefully, the Mets will be able to rise to contention again in the next couple years, and I want Jake pitching big games then.

Mike says –

           Normally, locking a star player into a manageable contract is a good thing, unless you are the Mets it seems.

David Wright and Juan Lagares both come to mind when I think of getting a good player signed to a fair contract that gives the team some cost and positional certainty.   I think it would be unfair to Jake to take a potential contract extension off the table because we have had bad luck in the past with different players.

However, caution should also be exercised since he is 30 years old and the team appears to be entering a rebuilding phase.  If JDG was willing to sign a decent contract (say, five years and ninety million dollars) I would be open to the same if I felt that a return to relevance would happen in that window (2019 through 2023).

Worst case, he would still be a valuable trade chip in a season or two if the timeline changed (barring any injuries).

Tony says –

           I think it would be a good idea for the Mets to open the vault and extend the contract of deGrom through the 2023 season. I think he has earned an extension since he has been a front- line type of pitcher. He has had a fantastic ERA that averages out to 2.80 during the last five years along with a record of 50 wins & 34 losses. DeGrom needless to say has been consistent and reliable. He currently is the best pitcher in the National League. I do not foresee Alderson trading him. The Mets are not ready for a complete rebuild, because they have a good young core of players that could keep them in contention for the next couple of years. If they trade deGrom now the team will regress and there is no quick rebuild here, because there are not too many players that are ready to come up from the farm system.

Pitching is ninety percent of the game and with deGrom on the staff along with Noah S. the Mets have a rare commodity that most other teams do not have which is two front- line type of pitchers that can be an ace of a staff. The Astros had that rare commodity with Justin V. & Dallas K. last year and they won the World Series. Since deGrom was a shortstop when he first signed he has a strong arm which I think will enable him to pitch in the majors for a long time. If the Mets become sellers and they keep deGrom they can possibly sneak in as a wild card next season and having two elite starters helps a team achieve that and when you make the playoffs as a wildcard anything can happen from that point.

If the Mets extend deGrom they would be in good shape. They are not far from being a good team. They just have to surround deGrom with a better supporting cast and they will be contenders. So, I think it will be feasible for the Mets to open their vault for their future Cy Young award winner and extend deGrom.

Tom says –

           Yes, I would extend deGrom thru 2023.

I know pitching is fragile, but if he shows no signs of not being durable, I would extend him thru 2023 for sure, at $25 million per year.  So far, he seems durable enough.

And I hate long term contracts for pitchers.  But risks abound - it is a reasonable business risk.

Reese says –

           The question is do we extend him into say a 5-year contract that buys out his final two seasons and adds three more...an interesting debate indeed! 
Let's say to do that you would need to guarantee him about $16 million per year -- $80 million -- which is more than double what he's earning now.  If I'm Jacob deGrom, given the fickle nature of pitchers' health, I'd have to give very serious consideration to that type of deal.

However, the Mets also must consider from a business perspective what they would net in a potential trade.  Let's say they got 4 top notch prospects, each of whom would cost major league minimum for the next several years.  Then that theoretical $80 million committed to go to Jacob deGrom could go to address several other needs.

Flash back to the David Wright situation where they had no money whatsoever after the Madoff debacle, yet they went ahead and gave him that monster deal which hamstrung the club to this day.  I'd hate to see them repeat the same mistake.  If they're not going to act like a major market team, then tying up all your money in one pitcher is not the way to go.  Fulfill multiple needs by making a GOOD trade and then still have that money to address other issues.


Thomas Brennan said...

If we sign Jake to an extension, and he is still pitching great, does that make him any less tradeable?

Reese Kaplan said...

Absolutely yes...because the receiving team is on the hook for whatever that long term salary obligation is. If you trade him now, then he is much more valuable for two full seasons of control at value pricing.

Thomas Brennan said...

Great point, Reese.

Big decisions ahead - will the Mets continue to make bad ones?

Bob Gregory said...

Until proven otherwise: yes, assume more mind-numbing decisions.

Reese Kaplan said...

As an example, last year the Tigers traded Justin Verlander who arguably has a better pedigree than deGrom (6 All Star Games, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP). All they got in return is a .241 hitting catcher, a speedy singles hitter with a .262 career minor league average, and a rookie ball pitcher because Verlander was earning $29 million. Trade deGrom now and the return should be significantly better for his much lower price tag, and then when he becomes a FA anyone can have him if they can meet his price.

Gary Seagren said...

The Met's aren't laying out 100 million plus for DeGrom so they have to cease the moment and trade him because his value will never be higher. Ideally we keep JDG, Thor, Matz and Wheeler and sign Machado and build from there but we're the Met's so that's a pipe dream and won't it be fun watching the Braves and Phillies (one of them will surely get him) kick our asses for the next 5 years....thanks Jeffy.

Gary Deming said...

It would never happen, but the Mets are excelling in starting pitching and are a team built on that that hasn't been successful (except for 2015). The Angels have the best position player on the planet and have not been able to succeed since Trout came on the scene.

Again, it wouldn't happen, but both teams could boldly change their identities by trading deGrom & Syndergaard for Mike Trout.

I don't know about his contract, or even if this would work, but it sure would energize both clubs.

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