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Despite being out of action for most of the last year, Steve Cohen is adamant that he’ll ensure Jacob deGrom doesn’t leave the New York Mets.
deGrom has two years remaining on his current contract, which would pay him an average of $31 million per year. However, he also has an opt out that he can exercise after the season, and he’s repeatedly signaled his intention to exercise it.
Cohen, the Mets owner spoke to The New York Post on Saturday from Citi Field and said he understands deGrom’s rights and wants to ensure he doesn’t go anywhere:
“Listen, he certainly has the right to do that. We love Jacob, and I think he’s the best pitcher in baseball. We’ll do whatever we can to make sure he stays. But it’s his decision, not ours.”
Since returning from his injury, deGrom has been as dominant as ever, compiling a 1.08 FIP in over 29 innings and striking out over 14 hitters per nine innings.
Remarkably, his average fastball velocity is the highest it’s ever been at 99.3, even at the age of 34. He’s also managed to essentially eliminate walks, recording only two this season.
There is no shortage of impressive statistics when it comes to Jacob deGrom, and if he does opt out and go to free agency, he’ll be easily the most desirable pitcher on the market.
While he’s on the older side for a dominant starter, his stuff has clearly not diminished at all and players of his caliber don’t often become available.
Justin Verlander, at the age of 39, has also had a tremendous season and is the likely AL Cy Young winner, providing a track record of success for “older” players that teams can evaluate.
deGrom also doesn’t have as many innings under his belt as similarly aged players. Clayton Kershaw, for example, is also 34, but has thrown 2,729 innings in the regular and postseason. deGrom on the other hand has thrown only 1,316.
Ostensibly he should have a longer runway to maintaining his velocity given the lower usage rates.
It certainly seems likely deGrom will at least get to free agency, but if one of the wealthiest owners in the sport has anything to say about it, he won’t actually be going anywhere.