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Early spring injuries, Cano's message to teammates, and a win-win if deGrom opts out
Jacob deGrom intends to opt-out of his current five-year contract at the end of the season.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
Jacob deGrom intends to opt-out from his current five-year, $137.5 million contract at the end of the season, assuming he is healthy and productive in 2022.
Mets manager Buck Showalter named deGrom the club’s Opening Day starter.
Pete Alonso was in a very bad car accident while in Tampa as he was leaving for Port St. Lucie this past weekend. His car flipped multiple times but both he and his wife came away uninjured.
Taijuan Walker underwent minor knee surgery in January, so he is further behind the other starting pitchers ahead of opening day.
Starling Marte is dealing with oblique soreness and was held out of workouts on Monday - he underwent precautionary imaging and there is no damage to the muscle.
Seth Lugo and Trevor May did not arrive in Port St. Lucie on the mandatory reporting date due to weather issues, and both Yenssy Díaz and Félix Peña are absent due to visa issues.
Robinson Canó addressed his teammates about his second PED violation on Monday - Showalter said Canó seemed sincere in his message and tone.
Showalter said Canó will play second base, maybe some first base, and serve as the club’s designated hitter.
The Mets officially announced the signing of RHP Adam Ottavino on Monday.
Here is the Mets spring training broadcast schedule, which was released Monday afternoon:
Jacob deGrom opting out would be a win-win📝
On Monday in Port St. Lucie, Jacob deGrom told reporters he intends to opt out of his current five-year, $137.5 million contract he signed before the 2019 season.
“The plan is to exercise that option, and be in constant contact in the off-season with the Mets and Steve Cohen and the front office,” deGrom explained on Monday.
Still, deGrom is excited about the direction the club is headed in and would like to remain with the Mets beyond this season.
“I’ve said it before - I love being a Met and think it would be really cool to be one for my entire career,” he said.
deGrom agrees with Cohen to table any conversations about his contract until the end of the year, and while he wants to stay with the team long-term, he recognizes the transactional side of baseball.
“That’s the business side,” he explained. “You build in opt-outs, and that’s the business side.”
There was never any reason to expect deGrom to do anything different. As he said, this is why opt-outs are negotiated - to allow him to potentially enter free agency when his value has peaked and cash in at fair market value. That he has chosen to be transparent about it to both the club and the public is something to appreciate - it creates certainly, eliminates questions and suspense, and allows the club to strategize and (hopefully not) plan for contingencies should deGrom depart for another team.
But in a way, if deGrom does opt out, that would be a best-case scenario for both parties.
It means he will probably have had stayed healthy and had another elite, Cy Young caliber season, out-performing his $33.5 million salary in 2022 and possibly help to lead the Mets deep into October.
It’s a win-win. With some risk attached to it.
Of course, there’s always the possibility deGrom doesn’t opt out, but that would mean he either under-performed his salary and/or he goes through another injury-plagued season in 2022.
There’s also every reason to believe the Mets will do everything in their power to retain deGrom, even if it means having two starting pitchers in their mid-to-late in their 30s making in excess of $40 million in 2023 and beyond.
It’s more than just making sure the Mets rotation is set and elite. It’s more than deGrom producing Hall of Fame caliber numbers as well.
It’s about brand recognition, and retaining a large chunk of that brand and building upon it as the sun continues to rise on this new era for the Mets. What’s more, it’s about the legacy for both the player and the organization, and building upon the feel-good story of Jacob deGrom and his journey from Tommy John Surgery to afterthought to potential hall of famer and everything in between that has already written for the Mets and the game.
Cohen, Sandy Alderson and Billy Eppler all know that too. And the Mets should (and surely will) do everything in their power to ensure that history continues to be written forever with one of the best pitchers in baseball and in the history of the franchise.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Braves sent a large package of prospects to Oakland in exchange for star 1B Matt Olson (team release).
The Reds unloaded All-Stars Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker, sending them both to the Mariners in return for four prospects - including former Met farmhand Justin Dunn - and a player to be named later.
Both the Rays and the Blue Jays are aggressively pursuing free agent 1B Freddie Freeman (MLB.com)
The Rockies are pursuing a deal with free agent IF/OF Kris Bryant (Heyman)
The Brewers agreed to sign OF Andrew McCutchen (El ExtraBase)