DeGrom May Consider Innings Restriction If No Deal Is Reached

February 14, 2019 - 2:35 pm
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By WFAN.com

Spring training is officially underway, and for the first time this year, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom sat down with the media to answer questions about his contract situation.

While the ace is looking for a significant extension to reward him for his Cy Young season, along with his other four strong years with the team, deGrom made it clear that he wants to stay in Queens for years to come.

"I would like to be a part of this team's future," deGrom told reporters Thursday in Port St. Lucie. "Would like the feeling to be mutual, but that's just something we're going to have to see. Like I said, the main goal is just to get ready for the season and make sure I'm ready to go out there and pitch. Those decisions are kind of out of my control, so I just do what I can do." 

Coming off one of the strongest seasons in recent memory, there is no doubt that deGrom deserves to be paid as one of the sport's highest-paid pitchers.

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However, the 30-year-old still has two years of arbitration left on his contract, meaning he will not be able to hit the free agent market until after the 2020 season.

Despite the desire for a long-term deal, deGrom acknowledged that the team is not obligated to give him a new contract before he becomes a free agent.

"Like I said I really do enjoy playing here, and like I said I would like to be a part of the team's future. This is just how the game works," deGrom said about his situation with the Mets. "They have every right to do whatever. But as a player, you would like to be thought of as a future part of the organization."

While he wouldn't go as far as to say he will take himself out of games, deGrom did state that he will have to discuss a possible innings restriction with his agents if no deal is reached before Opening Day.

"I think that's going to be a discussion that's going to have to be had with my agents," the ace said from First Data Field. "I'm going to have to sit down with them and really see what they think is best for me moving forward."

As of Thursday, the two sides had not gotten far into talks on a new deal. In fact, deGrom mentioned that the Mets have yet to even come to the table with an offer.

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However, the 6-foot-4 righty did say that things can change very quickly.

"I honestly have no clue," deGrom said when asked how confident he is he will get a new contract before Opening Day. "There hasn't really been many talks... You know, you say there hasn't been many talks but that can change in one phone call. I just don't really know. I'm just, like I said, trying to get ready for this season."

DeGrom was not the only member of the organization to speak in front of the media about his contract situation.

A couple hours after the ace spoke, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen met with reporters to discuss his former client.

While fans likely cringed at the mention of the possibility of a self-imposed innings restriction, the agent-turned-GM acknowledged how important the pitcher's long-term health is to everyone on the team.

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"We want to protect Jacob deGrom as much as Jacob deGrom and as much as his agents want to protect him, " Van Wagenen said Thursday. "He matters to us, not just during the regular season but his impact is even more important to us in October. As far as managing workloads, with or without an extension, we're going to make sure the player's health is considered."

At the end of the day, Van Wagenen made his thoughts on deGrom's future with the organization abundantly clear.

"My goal is for Jacob to be here for the long haul, and we're going to be operating this spring with that goal in mind," the general manager told reporters. "Regardless of what happens by Opening Day, we're going to continue to have that mindset. From this chair, I think that he's important to what our plan is and our execution of the win now and win in the future mantra."