The New York Mets are in the middle of a crossroad. They have an oft-injured offense and an oft-crazy front office. However, with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, the Mets have a hell of a rotation. This is a rotation, when healthy, will blow you away. Jacob deGrom is a Cy Young candidate and likely the winner, provided no one takes his record seriously. Noah Syndergaard can throw 100 with movement and baffle hitters. Zack Wheeler has turned his career around thanks to Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland. Wheeler is a free agent after next year, deGrom in two years and Syndergaard in three years. Instead of that, they should lock them all up.
What would a contract for all three look like? deGrom would have to be paid ace money (20+ million average annual value with a five year commitment, at least. Syndergaard would have to be paid a little less than that. The problem is like $18 million a year for six or seven years. That is 108-126 million for a commitment. Wheeler would probably come cheapest in average annual value, but the closeness to free agency will make him cost more. $12-15 million would be a reasonable number, probably at 4-5 years.
The Mets have to build around their aces again though correctly. With Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and Jay Bruce probably locked in, they need to build around those. If the new general manager can learn how to handle the big contracts and the kids who were under control, the Mets will be in great shape. The parts are there, they just need to get the right players for support.
Tomas Nido is starting to gain the trust of his pitchers in his game calling. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard both worked well with Nido. Nido guided Syndergaard to a complete game against the San Francisco Giants. If this works out, the Nido and Plawecki combo will do wonders once Devin Mesoraco and Travis d’Arnaud are gone. (d’Arnaud is prime non-tender candidate for the 2018-19 offseason.)
The big thing here is the front office, the Mets owners need to invest in this rotation or else they will get nothing, nada, zero. The fans of the Mets want a competitive team and to not waste the entire chance of competing with these guys. If the Mets do not want to lock them up, then trade them. However, the right approach is to extend the rotation and make sure they have a good starting point.
All of this is a risky commitment obviously; the Mets would have to see that they are not injured regularly with the commitment. The Cincinnati Reds and Homer Bailey are probably a good example. As soon as they signed the dotted line, Bailey’s injuries came with it. Of all three, Wheeler is probably the most injury-prone. However, the Mets should still make a commitment. There is only one chance to lock these guys up now. They are the Mets aces.
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