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Mets Blogger Roundtable: Would You Support deGrom Limiting His Innings?

In his press conference on Thursday, Mets ace Jacob deGrom said if the Mets were not going to extend him he would have to confer with his agents about whether he should have a self imposed innings restriction in 2019. It should be noted deGrom’s new agent, Jeff Barry, has been urging pitchers to impose innings restrictions upon their teams in response to how teams have handled the free agent market the past few seasons.

While many believe it may never come to this, it is certainly possible deGrom or his agents may attempt to impose an innings restriction upon the team. As we saw with Matt Harvey in 2015, drama would ensue should there be another incident. The question for Mets fans in 2019 is whether they would support deGrom in a similar situation this season. Our Mets Bloggers offer their opinions:

Tim Ryder (MMO)

Now THAT’S a conflict of interest. Obviously, deGrom deserves every penny he’s set to make and has every right to protect himself from injury with that type of windfall at stake. However, I want the Mets to win and having JdG on the mound as often as possible significantly improves their chances of success. I really don’t think it’s going to get that far, though.

Metstradamus (Metstradamus Blog)

Agree with Tim. I don’t think it gets that far. But I whole heartedly support Jacob’s right to be pissed off.

Editor’s Note: Metstradum had an excellent article on that very topic, which you should read.

Mark Healey (Gotham Baseball)

Last time I checked, Jake is getting paid 17 million dollars to throw baseballs this season. He’d better throw 200 innings with a smile on his face, and I don’t want to hear about his contract again. Yes, the Mets need to extend him, and make him a Met for life, but c’mon.

I’ll add that when he does get his deal, he should send an envelope to Wally Backman, because if it weren’t for Wally, Jake would have been used in the BP when the Mets brought him up. It probably cost him his job, but Wally called Terry and told him Jake had to be a SP and to fight hard for it.

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

I expect Jacob deGrom to pitch as best he can, as often and as much as he is called on to do (which in this era is never enough as we would choose). He has been a pro’s pro for five seasons and see no reason to believe that will change because of negotiation-related posturing. His integrity seems as Cy Young-caliber as his body of work.

If he wants to preserve his arm after the Mets clinch and before the playoffs, I’d definitely support that.

James Schapiro (Shea Bridge Report)

DeGrom has certainly earned an expensive extension, and he’s a good season or two away from becoming a top five-or-so pitcher in Mets history. But shutting down in September could be a lot to ask of the Front Office and of fans if we’re in a playoff race. If we’re 20 games out on September first, then it might be in everyone’s best interests — deGrom, the FO, fans — to shut him down and save his arm. But if we’re in a spot where the standings might come down to a few games either way, I think the opposite is true: I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interests for deGrom to pack it in early. Fans will hate it, obviously, and management won’t like it either, and if deGrom goes against his team to shut himself down, you have to think it will damage relations between his agents and the Mets, and also hurt his standing going into Free Agency.

Having said all that…I don’t think he’ll shut himself down if we’re in a spot where we need him to pitch. He doesn’t seem like the type. But with the Mets…who the hell knows?

Bre S (That Mets Chick)

deGrom has earned every penny given to him. He received a raise in arbitration earning $17 million this season. I am very conflicted about this topic because I think he deserves a big pay day, but I also want him to pitch down the stretch, especially if we are in a playoff race. This reminds me another time in Mets drama history. Matt Harvey in 2015 recovering from TJS was asked by his agent, Scott Boras to limit his innings to preserve himself for the future. With all the drama and headlines late that season, he ended up pitching deep into the season and then the World Series. There are clear differences in Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom: Injuries, attitude and behavior. deGrom is a great Mets player. He is loyal to the team. I want him signed long term but its very tough to say I would want him to shut it.

Mets Daddy

While I do not like deGrom having a self imposed innings limitation, I do have to respect him doing what is best for him and his career.  So long as he gives the team sufficient notification of his intent, the Mets should be able to set forth a plan where deGrom will be in a position to pitch down the stretch and into the postseason. Given what deGrom said at the press conference, the Mets should be making plans for that very scenario RIGHT NOW.

At the end of the day, if the Mets don’t plan for this contingency, and they instead try to pressure deGrom into pitching well past his innings limits, like they did with Harvey, that’s on the Mets – no matter how much they try to spin it.

That said, if deGrom doesn’t make himself available to pitch a late September game or refuses to pitch in the postseason, then he should be subjected to whatever scorn comes his way. Hopefully, no one will be in that position.

Overall, no matter what your position is on supporting deGrom, please support the writers who take their time to contribute to this roundtable. Their work is excellent, and they should receive your support.

14 thoughts on “Mets Blogger Roundtable: Would You Support deGrom Limiting His Innings?”

  1. OldBackstop says:

    Gotham is the only one that passed the test. And Luis Severino.There is no grey area here, this is right and wrong, contractual agreements. Had Jake brought this up before they agreed to the contract, would it have been a different dollar amount? Ya think?

    And the contract avoided arbitration. Has anyone ever gone into an arbitration announcing self-imposed innings limits?

    Also, note that the longer outings at the end of the year were attempts at The Greater Glory of Jake to get him wins for the Cy Young. It was all Ron Darling talked about for two months.

    How about we agree to shut Jake down if he gets to 19 wins?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Please answer the following:

      1. Where in the arbitration settlement or CBA was it prescribed deGrom must pitch a certain amount of innings?

      2. Why is deGrom obligated to pitch more innings than is recommended by his agents and doctors he pitch?

      1. oldbackstop says:

        I’m not sure if you don’t know, are being passive-aggressive, or are doing that Socratic questioning thing you do…..but the Uniform MLB contract does not differentiate between positions…..it likely has language like “render your unique skilled services diligently and faithfully” or something.

        Are you saying there is a medical issue? One thing I know for sure is the player is REQUIRED to immediately notify the club, in fact the club is “guardian” of all his medical records. Are you relying on his agent’s opinion? He was there during negotiations and apparently it wasn’t written into the 2019 deal, so fire him.

        The problem I have with Jake is this is a punk thing to do. He signed a contract five weeks ago, the value BASED upon his efforts the previous year, (32 starts, 217 innings) undoubtedly AGGRESSIVELY based on them, seeing as he is Age 31 and has only three seasons with over 150 IPs.

        For him to now say, basically”well, because I want more money down the road, forget about my best efforts in 2019, because MAYBE I will hurt or weaken my arm and become less effective,” is truly evil if you are a Mets fan, because the opportunity has been missed to adjust the club with free agents or trades during the winter off season. It is blackmail.

        Yankees ace Luis Severino yesterday about deGrom: “I want to pitch. I love to pitch. I love this game. I’d never do that. He’s making money. He’s making $17 million!”

        That is the attitude that gets you a multiyear contract, which Luis just got.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          You’re ignoring my questions and instead choosing to go off on a rant.

          Really, my questions were simple and really can be answered easily:

          1. There are none.
          2. He’s not.

          1. oldbackstop says:

            1. of course not. It is the Uniform Contract. What team would want a 2nd baseman who won’t play when the temperature is below 55 degrees or above 92 degrees, or on artificial turf, or won’t play more than 110 games a year?

            In deGrom, you are asking him to play seven innings for 30 games. He is going to come back and say “Did I mention this in December? I know I only played in 14.8 percent of your innings, but next year I can only do 26 and six innings max, which is like 11 percent.”

            2, He’s not what? Going to demand restrictions if he is extended? What about in two years of a four year deal?

            Trust gone.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            1. Give me the specific clause from the uniform contract which says deGrom must pitch a certain amount of innings.

            2. He is not obligated to pitch more innings than anyone recommends to preserve his health. Saying otherwise is flat out wrong.

  2. Pal88 says:

    I understand his “alleged” reluctance, BUT, he works for the Mets, they will pay him handsomely for 2019. Hopefully, this whole situation doesn’t get to the point where negotiations break down..if they do though, Jake should pitch whenever called upon provided he’s healthy.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Why should he pitch more than is recommended for him when everyone acknowledges pitching more increases the chances of injury?

      1. oldbackstop says:

        Recommended by whom??? Pitchers need regular work, have to pitch themselves into shape, and ace pitchers are hovered over and protected like dragons eggs if their is even a tweak of pain, and if the gun shows they are tiring they are yanked. deGrom was just the opposite if you watched garbage time last year….all Darling could talk about is deGrom getting the win, give him another inning, it was all about deGrom’s W-L and the Cy Young, the fierce warrior out there pitching into the 8th when the team is long out of contention…what happened to that guy?

        By the time his FA comes, deGrom will have been paid $50 million dollars by the Mets. This isn’t about feeding his family. This is basically deGrom saying “uh…I’m well into my decline years, and I’ve had a lot of injuries, so I’m afraid my 2021 and 2022 and 2023 won’t be great if they happen at all….so please give me $60 million for those years, assume the risk rather than me.”

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Recommended by his agents in consultation with medical professionals and other analysts.

          1. oldbackstop says:

            A Cy Young guy with 32 starts and allegedly a sound arm is the first healthy pitcher in history to demand limited use?

            If you say it like that….how can he back off it? I think his value plunges if he says that is his policy. I can’t imagine signing a guy who doesn’t want the ball.

            He should can the agent….for one, it is CAA with the Brodie ties, and two, for this ‘no can do’ attitude.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Why should you be permitted to have a healthy arm throw more innings than recommended thereby potentially subjecting that arm to injury?

            Why does paying a player give you that right.

          3. OldBackstop says:

            Any athlete could find medical opinions saying he was stressing his body under the normal activities of the sport. Golf, wrestling, hell, there wouldn’t be an NFL. Why now a month after signing? He isn’t announcing unique-in-history abbreviation of his pitching schedule solely for his well being….it is his FINANCIAL avarice. The estimated $50 million isn’t enough….he wants to ski behind morw yachts.

          4. metsdaddy says:

            Why is wanting security avarice but the Mets not wanting to give him FMV not seen the same way?

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