Mets unveil free agency plans for Jacob deGrom, Edwin Diaz amid NL East push
The New York Mets, by all accounts, have had a successful season. After a 7-1 victory against the 55-89 Pittsburgh Pirates, they managed to bounce back from a historic sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, pushing their record to an impressive 90-55 to increase their cushion over the Atlanta Braves in the race for the NL East. Even with the postseason stretch still to come, it’s never too early for the Mets to be planning for the impending free agencies of their core players, primarily that of ace Jacob deGrom and closer Edwin Diaz.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Mets will need to open up the coffers to retain the services of Jacob deGrom, who currently has an impressive 2.01 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched after an impressive return from a long-term injury. DeGrom has a player option for $30.5 million, but the 34-year old ace is likely to turn that down and enter free agency.
“One salary expert predicted Jacob deGrom would receive multiple two-year, $40 million-per-year offers, making the opt-out worthwhile,” Heyman wrote. “He would likely want more years, but the expert predicted the salary would drop for teams willing to go three years or more.”
Meanwhile, Edwin Diaz has been lights out off the Mets bullpen, posting a 1.47 ERA and racking up an insane 105 strikeouts in a mere 55 innings pitched, blowing only three saves out of 32 opportunities this season. The Mets will have to blow past the usual salary range for closers in recent seasons to retain the 28-year old.
“The expert predicted Edwin Diaz would break the $17.2 million record for closers and become the first to hit $20 million-per-year,” Heyman added.
Furthermore, Heyman wrote that the Mets will look to prioritize the return of outfielder Brandon Nimmo, in addition to Diaz. They surely will love to have DeGrom back but it won’t come without risk, as DeGrom, already 34, has had his fair share of injury problems in the past. Nonetheless, the Mets know that they have a contender in their hands, and they should be astute in allocating resources to players who can help them sustain their current place in the league.