Mets ace Jacob deGrom agrees to five-year, $137.5 million contract extension

Less than a week after Jacob deGrom admitted that he wasn't optimistic about reaching a new deal with the New York Mets before his self-imposed Opening Day deadline, the Mets have their ace locked up. The reigning Cy Young winner agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension on Tuesday, the team confirmed

The deal nets deGrom $27.5 million per year, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. He joins the Red Sox' Chris Sale and the Astros' Justin Verlander as aces to receive major contracts this week.

Although deGrom was already under team control through the 2020 season, he had hinted earlier this offseason that he would protect his arm if need be without an extension. Noah Syndergaard also expressed frustration with the franchise for dragging its feet, saying that "I think they should pay the man already." Remember, both deGrom and Syndergaard used to be represented by Brodie Van Wagenen, who, over the offseason, took over as the Mets general manager.

With all of that in mind, the Mets had a lot of incentive to get this deal done. And that's not even to mention his actual play: deGrom finished last season with a 1.70 ERA (216 ERA+) and a 5.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Over his final 15 starts of the season, he allowed more than two earned runs twice. Meanwhile, he recorded more strike outs than hits allowed 14 times. He was as dominant as any pitcher in baseball -- last season, or in recent memory. All of that, and his record was just 10-9 due the Mets' well-documented inability to help him get wins.

This extension is the latest in a flurry of March activity across the league. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout also had their megadeals, in addition to Sale and Verlander. As Passan pointed out, teams have spent more than a billion dollars in contract extensions:

Part of this has to do with players becoming increasingly hesitant to test the free-agent waters -- a plus for teams looking to retain their best players without having to worry about competing with other bidders. Indeed, the forthcoming free-agent classes look a lot less tantalizing now, with essentially every top star locking in for the foreseeable future. The exceptions this winter, as it stands, are Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Astros righty Gerrit Cole, and Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon.

In deGrom's case, he couldn't turn down a contract that could pay him up to $170 million if he picks up his player option for 2023 and the Mets exercise their club option for 2024. It's worth noting deGrom also gains a no-trade clause in this deal, meaning the Mets can't look to spin him off without his permission.

Heading forward, deGrom is now cemented as the face of the Mets franchise. With the NL East bolstering itself -- particularly the Phillies and Nationals as they chase the Braves -- the Mets likely felt some pressure to get this deal done. To New York's credit, it has acted with a sense of urgency throughout the Van Wagenen era, running up a new franchise-high in Opening Day payroll at a time when most teams are looking to trim costs. They went out and got Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos and Jed Lowrie to bolster the field while adding Edwin Diaz as their closer, but deGrom was a big loose end to tie up.

Lucky for them, they won't have the cloud of not getting a contract done heading into the regular season on April 28 against the Nationals.

Our Latest Stories