The announcement came yesterday that a deal came together for Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets. The Mets announced a contract extension that guarantees him $137.5 million. The second Cy Young Award winner in seven seasons for the Mets got the same amount of money given to Johan Santana. This amount is also $500,000 than the eight year, $138 million guarantee given to David Wright after the 2012 season. While the job is done, this is still not enough money. The Mets should have ponied up more.
The Mets doled out $137.5 million to a player with 27 WAR in 139 games. He has exactly 1,000 strikeouts in 897.2 innings. This comes a long time from when deGrom was considered the sixth starter and would likely be in the bullpen in 2014. Now, he is the front man of one of the best pitching staffs in the National League. While he is not David Wright, he definitely should have gotten more money.
When Max Scherzer got his deal, he was a year younger, season-wise. Scherzer was 29, deGrom is 30. Scherzer received a deferral-heavy deal that will pay him $42 million AAV this year. $42 MILLION! Leading into that contract, Scherzer repped 23.8 WAR. deGrom has eclipsed that in fewer seasons. If Max Scherzer received $210 milion for 23.8 WAR at age 29, how does deGrom not get at least $170 million for 27 WAR at age 30? A reasonable deal based on those standards is probably seven years, $170 million. This keeps deGrom a Met through age 36 season. The current deal keeps him through 2024.
The Johan Santana deal, signed in 2008, becomes the sister contract for comparison. When the Mets acquired him, they gave him the $137.5 million contract, the largest in Mets history. At that time, Santana won two Cy Young Awards. He finished as a top 5 candidate four times and was a 3-time All-Star.
In WAR, Santana, at age 29, already had 35.8 WAR. Unfortunately, as we know, that contract did not work out. He was an All-Star in 2009 and finished in the top 3 of Cy Young voting in 2008. Then it was a lot of injuries until June 1, 2012 when he etched himself in Mets lore forever. That day, as this writer watched, he threw the first no-hitter in Mets history.
Jacob deGrom already went through one Tommy John surgery and it is not a guarantee that he might not have another at some point. However, that should not be a reason to ask for less money. Any pitcher getting a giant contract could be hurt at some point in the season. See Johan Santana as a comparison. However, you only get at most one chance to cash in on a major level. You cannot complain about $137.5 million, but it seems like deGrom settled for less.
The New York Mets should’ve offered another $32.5 million and ensured him a Mets’ legacy with the highest paid contract. Jacob deGrom deserves it.
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