Mets righthander Jacob deGrom expects to begin throwing within a week or two for the first time since surgery in late September to move a nerve that had been causing pain in his right elbow.
“It feels good,” said deGrom, who was in New York on Friday for various appearances. “It feels like nothing happened. So I’m ready to start throwing.”
The Mets’ hopes for a World Series championship again will revolve around their ability to keep their talented stable of pitchers healthy. DeGrom is one of five starters coming off surgery. Nevertheless, he said the Mets’ goal remains staying healthy enough to make a serious run at a title.
“We see the window,” deGrom said. “And we know we have a good opportunity. We know we have a good team. I think having that confidence is going to help us going into next year.”
That window of opportunity remained open partly because the Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110-million deal this week.
“It’s great,” deGrom said. “I’m glad to have him back. Great No. 4 hitter. Would hate to face him, so I’m definitely glad he’s with us.”
For the first time in his career, deGrom is arbitration-eligible, meaning that he is due for a significant raise. It’s often an entry point for players and teams to discuss long-term extensions, but deGrom said he and the Mets have not had any such talks.
In three seasons, deGrom has established himself as one of the game’s dynamic arms. In 2015, he backed up his Rookie of the Year award with his first All-Star appearance. In 2016, the 28-year-old went 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA before season-ending surgery. He missed the final month of the year.
Before surgery, he noticed that the nerve issue in his elbow caused unusual symptoms. It became painful to snap his fingers, though that has subsided since the procedure.
He has taken time with his rehab, a lesson from Tommy John surgery earlier in his career. But soon he will begin throwing, putting him on track to be ready for spring training.
“There’s no reason to try to push it and do something where I’m trying to rush to really do what?” deGrom said. “Knowing that and taking my time and getting everything else strengthened is good. Having that previous surgery helped me.”
Notes & quotes: The Mets agreed to a one-year, $1.75-million deal with catcher Rene Rivera, who was arbitration-eligible. Rivera, 33, hit .222 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 65 games, eventually taking the starting job. His value came primarily through his defense, as he threw out 29.5 percent of potential base-stealers. The Mets went 34-20 with Rivera behind the plate . . . The Mets did not have any non-tenders before Friday’s deadline . . . Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will play for his native Vene zuela in the World Baseball Classic . . . Tommy Tanous has been promoted to vice president, international and amateur scouting, the Mets announced. Tanous had been the director of amateur scouting since November 2011. In other scouting moves, the Mets promoted Marc Tramuta to director of amateur scouting, Doug Thurman to national crosschecker and Drew Toussaint to regional supervisor.