Mancuso: Never a Doubt With Jake

Was there any doubt?

Of course there was when it comes to the Mets. Jacob deGrom was not optimistic that a deal would get done before Opening Day. The Mets, who are always subject to speculation when it comes to spending money, had cast some doubts when it came to reaching this five-year contract extension of $137.5 million and a full no-trade clause.  

Those doubts can be put to rest and maybe the Mets’ fan base can finally begin to trust the franchise to do the right thing.

For now, the Mets can move on as Jacob deGrom was rewarded for his Cy Young Award season of 2018. The Mets would be put in a category of fools to have not made this deal. Next to Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden, deGrom is in the category of being a franchise pitcher.

It’s not Zack Wheeler or Steven Matz we are talking about. Neither is it Noah Syndergaard. The Mets next project is to teach Syndergaard when to keep his mouth shut before handing their right-hander a contract as rewarding.

Now everyone can leave a “show and tell” workout up in Syracuse and begin the season Thursday afternoon down in Washington D.C. The focus now is to begin the season and maintain the optimism that commenced when Brodie Van Wagenen came on board as the GM in October. There was a challenge to deliver and the GM came through with new “sailors aboard the ship.”

There is no doubt about this deal for deGrom. It had to be done. Just like the deals for Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, and Blake Snell, the AL Cy Young Award winner, this deal had to be consummated and it got done two days before the start of this anticipated 2019 season.

In the long run, the 30-year old deGrom is expected to be the Mets’ ace of the rotation. In the long run, and with any long term deal, there are risks. Jacob deGrom has had his share of elbow and arm problems. Teams are more skeptical about signing long term and lucrative contracts to pitchers as opposed to position players.

In this case, However, deGrom was worth the risk. He was also rewarded for that 1.70 ERA and 269 strikeouts that had the baseball world in a buzz last season. He was rewarded with a commitment to finish his career as a New York Met. Of course, and more importantly, deGrom did this for financial security and for his family.

The Mets did not need this to drag on into the season. They did not need the headache and the negative headlines that would’ve surfaced for not signing Jacob deGrom to a contract extension. In other words, and no matter the history of the Mets and the way they’ve handled contracts in the past, this is a commitment of the new regime to get the job done.

It is about winning now and beyond for the New York Mets. Jacob deGrom, assuming he stays healthy, is a part of that plan for the next five years. This is not to say that deGrom will duplicate his Cy Young Award season of last year because, anybody who knows anything about baseball, doing that may be asking too much.

This is about winning baseball games. The Mets have a good chance to win and keep games close when deGrom gets the baseball.

A well done deal for the Mets and deGrom. He is the ace and will get the Opening Day start Thursday afternoon. Of course there was never a reason to doubt this deal was going to get done.


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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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