Wednesday night should be a reason to watch the Mets on television or in person at Citi Field.
It’s not what you would think. Yes, Jacob deGrom attempting for his 10th win in his last start of the season would bring eyeballs to the set or at the stadium. It would mean he likely would clinch the National League Cy Young Award since he would have a winning record if he gets that win.
But the reason to watch is this could be his last start as a New York Met. There’s a good chance deGrom could be traded this offseason. This theory is not based on a hot take. This is not written based on getting clicks for this site.
Here’s why this theory is not preposterous: The Mets ace is two years away from free agency, and the Mets are going to hire someone from outside the organization to oversee the team’s baseball operation.
Sure, the Mets will not say publicly that he could be traded, and he will say he wants to be a Met for the rest of his career. What both say and what both do are two different things. It’s always actions that speak louder than words.
The Wilpons are going to be gunshy of giving deGrom a long-term deal being that he is already in his 30s, not to mention they have given guys like David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, Jason Bay, among others to long-term deals with nothing to show for it for their investment. They certainly don’t want to go down that road again, especially since they are still in debt after being involved in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Plus, they are not in the business of spending anymore based on what we saw the last few seasons.
It’s also interesting the Mets have not promoted their star pitcher to be this year’s NL Cy Young Award on their telecasts and their social media accounts. It’s strange, especially since they went all the way to campaign R.A. Dickey to win the NL Cy Young Award in his last year as a Met.
The new general manager may likely feel the Mets are far away from being a playoff team, so he may want to trade deGrom and replenish the farm system or get young everyday players who can hit.
deGrom is definitely not going to stay with the Mets by accepting a hometown discount just to solve the Wilpon’s financial issues. He has performed so well for the last few years to accept a contract that is below market value. This is his first and last chance to get paid like an elite pitcher. He has earned that right, and it would be beneath him to accept a contract below market value.
Of course, the Mets can keep him for one more season while keeping this team intact. If that’s the case, then they should spend on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper or any other game-changing free agents for a chance to not only make the playoffs, but go to the World Series. This team has to address so many issues such as catcher, outfielder, first base and several others.
Forget all of this happening. Not only are the Mets not spending money on elite free agents, but they won’t spend money on secondary players. They are likely going to do their usual bargain-basement hunting. In other words, they will wait to sign players until February.
I suggested this few months ago, and it stands true now. The Mets should consider trading deGrom this offseason. They are far away from being a playoff team, and quite frankly, their window of opportunity of winning a championship has been over for some time. This team needs to get some athletic players and hitters who can hit to the opposite field instead of hitting home runs. They can also rework their farm system.
This is a chance for the new general manager to make his mark. If the Mets are serious about giving full autonomy to whoever they hire, they give him a chance to build a team based on his vision.
There’s a good chance that new general manager will likely want to trade their best player and start the rebuilding process as soon as possible. It makes sense that he would want to start rebuilding.
That’s why it’s hard to believe deGrom will be a Met next season. The last thing the Mets and the new general manager want to answer everyday during the season is about deGrom’s impending free agency. They just want to play baseball instead of dealing with a distraction.
It would not be ideal to have their star pitcher pitch with his contact not extended after the season he has had. Maybe he can handle it, but it’s hard to believe his teammates want that distraction. The Wilpons certainly don’t want to deal with the hassle of answering questions about his contract.
deGrom can talk about how he loves being a Met, but he also wants to be respected. It may turn out he may have to go elsewhere to get the deal he wants.
Maybe the Mets hold on to their ace until the trade deadline next summer. Just in case, though, enjoy and savor what could be his final Met and Citi Field start ever.
Baseball is a business, and that means everything changes in sports.