Jacob deGrom is the most talked-about person on New York sports talk radio. But unlike the rest of us he has not had a chance to tire of the topic of his Mets future — or lack thereof. That’s because he does not listen.
Why? Not interested? Avoiding distractions? Trying to maintain his sanity?
“When I leave here I have two kids and I don’t have much time to listen to sports talk radio,” he said on Friday in the Bronx before the Mets met the Yankees to start a three-game intracity series.
That is good news for deGrom and Mets fans, because if he were listening he might be too dizzy to take the mound Sunday night.
Let’s just say that opinions are mixed regarding what to do with the Mets ace.
Because he is excellent at his job, playing for a bad team, a relative contractual bargain and under the Mets’ control through 2020, trade talk is inevitable.
Because he is 30 years old, signing him to the long-term contract he covets is a tricky proposition.
Spoiler alert: I have no answers here, because for some reason Mets executives have failed to invite me into their offices to eavesdrop on phone conversations with Brian Cashman and whoever else calls to chat.
That is why for the moment there is no reason not to take what assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday at face value.
“We certainly respect Jacob’s position, clearly,” Ricco said, “but we also have an obligation to do what’s best for the organization, whether that’s trading him, extending him or letting the contract play out.”
Is deGrom probably still going to be a Met come Aug. 1? Yes. That is wise, because there is no reason for the Mets to panic here. There always is next year, when he still will have plenty of value.
But if another team makes an offer that is impossible to refuse? By all means, do what you must, Mets.
Ricco said the Mets have spoken more than once to deGrom’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, since he said on Monday if the Mets do not intend to sign deGrom to an extension soon, they should trade him.
Or not. Now that Zack Wheeler at last has shown what he can do, the Mets could seek a middle ground by dealing him, keeping deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and biding their time regarding a new contract for deGrom.
Van Wagenen’s client obviously was on board with the agent’s bold public stance, but deGrom is a pro who figures to do his job regardless, so there is no need for the Mets to be bullied into a monster deal. And did we mention deGrom is . . . 30?
Friday night deGrom said part of the reason for Monday’s mini-bombshell was to avoid having to answer endless questions about his status, but he faced several of them again anyway and repeated his previous answers.
He said he “definitely” wants to remain a Met, adding, “I’ve enjoyed my time here. Like I said, in 2015 that was a blast. I want to win here. That’s what we want to do, and I think just knowing that [I want] to be a part of the future, I hope the feeling is mutual.
“With all this trade talk it was going to come up either way. It was our way of getting ahead of it.”
Eleven days before the non-waiver trade deadline, Ricco is keeping his options open, as he should.
“We’ll see,” he said. “We’re looking at all ways to make this club better.”
As for deGrom, he will keep pitching and keep tuning out the rest. He has a toddler and an infant at home, so sports talk radio might be a little redundant.