The Mets attempted to work out a long-term contract extension with talented right-hander Jacob deGrom this offseason, Mike Puma of the New York Post writes. However, those talks apparently never gained much traction. At this point, it appears as though deGrom expects to test the open market after his remaining three arbitration years are up. “As of right now, it looks like it’s going to be a year-to-year thing,” deGrom told reporters on Thursday. “I have got this year and two more, so I am still going to be here a while. If they want to extend past that, I guess we’ll see where it goes.” While those comments still imply that deGrom is keeping an open mind, the nature of his words seem to cast doubt on any chance of him giving the Mets some of his free agent years in advance the 2020-2021 offseason. He avoided arbitration this offseason by agreeing to a one-year, $7.4MM deal for 2018. The 29-year-old righty reached the 200-inning threshold for the first time in 2017 while pitching to a 3.53 ERA and 3.23 xFIP. During his four major league seasons, deGrom has been worth an average of over 4 fWAR. Since reaching the majors in 2013 (and ultimately winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award), he’s posted a sparkling 2.98 ERA, having struck out 9.67 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.33.
Other notable items from around the NL East…
- Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares has faith in his newly-overhauled swing, Puma writes in a separate piece. Lagares reportedly spent ten days in California with Craig Wallenbrock, a well-known hitting coach. His new approach (in line with a recent trend around the league) involves an objective to hit the ball in the air more often. “The last couple of years I have hit the ball super hard, but on the ground, so I am just trying to get it a little more in the air,” he says. While it’s certainly true that Lagares’ past approach has elicited a far greater percentage of ground balls (50.8) than fly balls (28.8), his claim that he’s hit the ball “super hard” seems a bit far-fetched. Via Fangraphs, the soon-to-be 29-year-old owns a hard contact rate of just 27.5% for his career, and his figure from last season (29.6%) was just north of that.
- A small handful of current and former Marlins front office executives are set to run marathons in seven consecutive days on seven different continents, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The “183.4-mile racing odyssey,” as Jackson calls it, will be led by Jeff Conine; he’ll be joined by ex-Marlins-president David Samson and ex-broadcasting-executive P.J. Loyello, along with two current Miami officials and 11 other people in a fascinating enterprise that will benefit 11 charities at the expense of an immense physical toll on their bodies. “You can’t pass up a life experience like this. I’ll never have the opportunity to do something like this ever again,” Conine offered on the subject. “Why not?”