The 2017 season was an important one for New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. He set new career-highs in starts, innings pitched, and strikeout rate. As such, he was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise miserable season.
One thing deGrom didn't do -- and one thing it appears he won't do anytime soon? Sign a long-term deal with the Mets. The Mets and deGrom's camp had preliminary talks about an extension this winter before both sides agreed to shift their focus to a deal to avoid arbitration, per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo:
The Mets had preliminary talks this winter about a contract extension with Jacob deGrom, but they never gained much traction. Sides mutually agreed just to do the arbitration settlement.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 23, 2018
Further details are unknown, though it's probably fair to speculate on both sides. After all, deGrom is under team control through the 2020 season -- at which point he'll be 32. In all likelihood, the Mets were hoping to lock in his remaining arbitration values while perhaps buying out a year or two of free agency. Meanwhile, deGrom has no reason to take that deal at this point in his career -- not when his first foray into free agency could serve as his last.
It's unclear if the Mets intend to take another run at re-signing deGrom in the future, as well as if they intend to try the same tactics with Noah Syndergaard, who won't be a free agent until after the 2021 season.
deGrom will enter 2018 with a career 2.98 ERA (131 ERA+) and two top-10 finishes in Cy Young Award voting.