Jeff Wilpon said Friday afternoon what Jacob deGrom said two days previously and what Brodie Van Wagenen said a week before that: Everybody involved is interested in an extension for the Mets’ ace.
The parties will talk at some point this offseason, but Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer, indicated that it’s not at the top of the Mets’ busy offseason agenda.
Van Wagenen and manager Mickey Callaway focused this week on interviews to fill the three vacancies on their field staff: bench coach, hitting coach and bullpen coach.
Wilpon said Van Wagenen is sorting through trade possibilities and that “free-agent stuff is secondary” for now. The Mets also have some internal housekeeping to do in terms of tendering — or not tendering — their arbitration-eligible players contracts early next month.
“I’m sure at some point we’ll get to speaking to Jake,” Wilpon said. “I spoke to him the other night to congratulate him after a great season [for which he won the NL Cy Young Award]. He was just super-excited to go have a nice steak dinner.”
After saying Wednesday that he wasn’t sure who his new agent would be after his previous representative, Van Wagenen, joined the Mets as general manager, deGrom reportedly decided to stick with the Creative Artists Agency.
“I assume we’ll have conversations with the new agent at some point here in the near future,” Wilpon said. “We’ll probably see him at the winter meetings.”
As was the case last month, Wilpon offered what amounted to no insight as to how much the Mets can or will spend this offseason.
Asked specifically about high-end free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — who are expected to receive long-term deals that pay them about $30 million per year — Wilpon deflected the question.
“Brodie knows the parameters of what the payroll is and what we’re planning to do, and he’s totally comfortable with that,” Wilpon said. “There’s room to do things, and he knows what that is. We’ll take a look at everything when he brings it to us.”
Will the payroll go up from 2018?
“I don’t want to get into whether it’s going to be higher or lower because everybody counts it differently,” Wilpon said, referencing insurance money the Mets are due to receive for the injured David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes.
Wilpon provided no clarity on the future of assistant GM John Ricco. “John has a contract. John is working away,” Wilpon said. “He and Brodie will have that conversation when they get to it, but John is working now. That’s where we are with that.” … Callaway on why the Mets fired hitting coach Pat Roessler: “Obviously, our offense didn’t perform the way we would’ve liked. Our guys prepared every day. It wasn’t a preparation issue. It’s just something we felt we needed to do better. Sometimes change is needed.”