Mets Extensions Cannot Stop With deGrom
Even though it took far too long to get done, the Mets stepped up and did the right thing by signing Jacob deGrom to a five year contract extension worth $137.5 million. With the extension, the Mets are going to keep arguably the best pitcher in baseball with the Mets for the next five years, and they are keeping a player who is popular with both the players and the fans.
While the Mets should be happy they got this done, they cannot act like they are done. Really, when you break it down, there is a lot of work still ahead of the Mets with much of their core hitting free agency over the next few seasons:
That’s a lot of young talent who could be leaving the Mets over the next three seasons. This should provide the team with the impetus they need to lock up these players to keep their window for competition open for deGrom’s Mets tenure.
That’s two front line starters in Wheeler and Syndergaard, two top of the line corner outfielders, and a relief ace. If handled and juggled properly, the Mets have the ability to keep them around and be the envy of baseball over the next 5-10 years. If the Mets do not take advantage of the opportunity before them, they are going to make a lot of teams happy by the team not only getting worse, but also because they will be adding a top end talent.
Is it fair to expect all of them to be extended? Perhaps not. That is a lot of money for those players. However, given how the Mets have traded away some of their prospects this year, there is more pressure to keep these players because the organizational depth is not what it was when Brodie Van Wagenen took the job.
Overall, there is a real balancing act the Mets need to undertake. They need to assess who they can and cannot extend. They need to see who in their system can help them sustain the loss of one of these players. Can Anthony Kay and David Peterson be what they need to sustain the loss of Wheeler or Syndergaard? Will Desmond Lindsay have that breakout year to allow them to move on from Conforto or Nimmo?
Whatever the balance, the Mets have to not only guess right, but they are going to have to handle each of these players properly. If they cannot extend some of these players, they should maximize each player’s value by getting a good return from them in a trade. Really, the Mets decisions on each of these players will dictate the Mets future and World Series window.