The Curious Case of Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets have had an ace up their sleeve for several years, but they refuse to acknowledgeit.

Do the Mets under-appreciate Jacob deGrom? (photo credit: AP/John Bazemore)
When Jacob deGrom was up for a raise in 2016, the Mets scoffed at giving the right-hander money and claimed he just wasn’t as good as some of the other pitchers out there. Eventually, the Mets gave
deGrom more money, a $50,000 increase after the pitcher rejected the first offer. And since then he has
gotten bigger pay days including this year’s one-year contract that has netted him $7.4 million.
deGrom has battled injuries and has been plagued by no-decisions over his career. Tommy John surgery in 2010, 2014 Rookie of the Year, 2015 All-Star, major bouts on the disabled list. And a scary hyperextended pitching elbow this season. The Mets have always been unsure of his value and whether to take a risk on this unprobable ace.

Here’s the facts:

deGrom has a 49-32 career record with a 2.86 ERA in 117 career starts. Since deGrom’s pro career
began in 2014, the Mets bullpen has blown 13 wins when the right-hander has left the game leading,
including two already in 2018. Had those games been held, deGrom’s resume would look different.

Imagine all those wins in 2014 (add two for 11-6) and 2015 (add two for 16-8), would the Mets have
been more likely to give deGrom a longer term deal. What about in 2016 (add three for 10-8) and 2017 (add four for 19-10)? deGrom would have four seasons with double-digit wins to start his Mets career.

That’s akin to the Mets greats like Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden.  Not even Noah Syndergaard,
would has been considered the Mets ace recently, could have said that. Even Clayton Kershaw,
who is the same age as deGrom, didn’t have four double-digit win seasons to start his career.

A career mark of 62-32 with 2.86 ERA, 808 strikeouts in 739 innings pitched for deGrom?

But alas, all for nought.

And Jeurys Familia, who is on a “career year” according to Mets manager Mickey Callaway, has been horrible in support of deGrom. Familia has blown six wins for deGrom, including two epic meltdowns this season. The sinker doesn’t have the movement when deGrom is on the mound. Erratic and shaky, Familia just can’t be counted on to save for the Florida-born righty.

The solution for the Mets isn’t to trade deGrom, but to sign their true ace to a megadeal and get a real
bullpen. The Mets have refused to spend the money on a big-time closer to save the day when needed.
While Familia has been good at times, he continues to lose control at the most inopportune time. They patch together a ragamuffin crew of journeymen from other teams. It hasn’t worked. Time for the Mets to pony up the dough before deGrom is off to greener pastures in 2020.

The stats:

Mets blown save for deGrom:

Familia blown save for deGrom

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