Though there are just over two weeks between now and Opening Day, Mets ace Jacob deGrom said Tuesday that he’s still “optimistic” about coming to terms on a long-term deal with the organization (link via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). Whatever talks have transpired, both the Mets and deGrom’s camp have done a good job of keeping things under wraps, as there’s been little reported on the matter since camp opened despite deGrom’s standing as one of the game’s elite talents. The right-hander stated again today that he “definitely” wants to be a part of the Mets’ future. It’s been one month since deGrom was reported to have placed an Opening Day deadline on extension talks with the Mets. He’s slated to earn $17MM in 2019 — his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility — and is currently on track to become a free agent after the 2020 season.
More from the NL East …
- On the health side, the Mets have seen encouraging progress from a few players. Jed Lowrie has resumed baseball activities and could be on track to return from his knee sprain early in the season. There’s even an “outside shot” that he’s on the active roster on Opening Day, DiComo says. And backstop Travis d’Arnaud is expected to head north with the big league club after missing almost all of 2018, DiComo adds. d’Arnaud, who avoided arbitration at a $3.515MM salary, has continued to check boxes this spring as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
- Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor is turning heads inside and outside the organization, Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic writes (subscription link). While Victor Robles will be given a shot to make good on his promise, the Nats are also considering scenarios where he slides to right field to enable Taylor to roam in center. Utilizing such an alignment when there’s a lefty on the hill would also facilitate rest for Adam Eaton, who has been limited by leg ailments ever since arriving in Washington. Soon to turn 28, Taylor has had chances to seize regular time in the past but hasn’t managed to reach base consistently enough to fully realize his potential. He spent the winter working on swing mechanics and preparing to “stay strong on the mental side” with a more “positive” mindset. Taylor will enter the season fourth on the depth chart, but could still have ample opportunity with the Nats in the season to come and beyond.
- The Marlins pursued veteran outfielder Adam Jones before he signed with the Diamondbacks, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Those were the only two teams with interest in Jones, who suggested he was not inclined to consider minor-league offers. The Marlins ended up securing the services of some other veteran players on favorable terms, including a minors pact with outfielder Curtis Granderson; the club’s level of financial interest in Jones is not known. Jones says he “want[s] to play a few more years for sure, at least.”