The Mets aren’t yet prioritizing a contract extension for National League Cy Young Award-winning right-hander Jacob deGrom, COO Jeff Wilpon informed Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News and other reporters Friday. However, the two sides could begin discussions on a new deal next month. “We’ll talk with the new agent here at some point in the near future, probably see him at the Winter Meetings,” Wilpon said. DeGrom’s situation is particularly interesting because his previous agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, became New York’s general manager last month. But deGrom stayed with the same agency, CAA Baseball, where former Van Wagenen partner Jeff Berry is now representing the soon-to-be 31-year-old hurler. If deGrom, who has two years of arbitration control remaining, does strike a long-term pact with the Mets, it’ll come without Van Wagnen’s direct involvement. While the GM would have to approve an extension, he’ll abstain from contract talks with deGrom in order to avoid a conflict of interest.
- Van Wagenen also used to represent deGrom’s teammate and co-ace, Noah Syndergaard, who has been popular in the rumor mill this week. Should New York make Syndergaard and his three years of control available, most of the league would likely inquire, though the team understandably seems content to go forward with him. Wilpon didn’t rule out a Syndergaard trade, but he said Friday (via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com) that a deal involving the flamethrowing 26-year-old “would have to be pretty lopsided” in the Mets’ favor.
- New York already has upward of $138MM going toward next year’s roster, which won’t give the club much room to spend if it plans on staying in the vicinity of last season’s $150MM-plus Opening Day total. A payroll increase would clearly benefit Van Wagenen in his first offseason on the job, though Wilpon wasn’t willing to reveal whether that’s in the Mets’ plans. “Brodie knows what the parameters of what the payroll is and what we’re planning to do,” said Wilpon (per DiComo).
- The Mets recently parted ways with J.P. Ricciardi, who was a key member of their previous front office. Assistant GM John Ricco was also integral in the Mets’ prior power structure, but his future is now up in the air. Ricco remains in the front office for the time being, according to Wilpon, who stated (via Ackert) he’s “working” and “has a contract,” adding that “[Ricco] and Brodie will have that conversation when they get to it.” It’s worth noting that Ricciardi also had a contract with the Mets, but the deal didn’t prevent his exit. With that in mind, Ricco may not be a lock to stay in the fold.