KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Blake Snell, Luis Severino, Aaron Nola, Ryan Pressly, Jose Leclerc and Miles Mikolas have agreed to contract extensions with their teams this spring.
And those are just the pitchers. Among position players, Paul Goldschmidt, Eloy Jimenez, Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, Brandon Lowe, Nolan Arenado, Aaron Hicks, Jose Martinez, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler have gotten new deals.
Jacob deGrom is still waiting — and admitted Saturday that he isn’t as optimistic as he was earlier in the month that he and the Mets will agree to a long-term deal before his deadline of Opening Day.
“You see guys signing,” deGrom said of baseball’s recent extension-palooza. “I see them too. I guess we wait.”
The sides are still talking, he said. But deGrom has been clear that he doesn’t want negotiations to linger into the regular season, which begins Thursday. He isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until after the 2020 season.
“I don’t know where it’s going to end up,” deGrom said. “I’ve really not been trying to think about it. Yeah, I said I wanted to get something done, but it’s getting close to Opening Day and I think my focus is on that right now.
“I said I would like to be a Met long-term. I’ve really enjoyed playing here, so we’ll just have to see where it goes. I’m not going to get into any details of anything, but I just don’t know where it’s going to go.”
Sale’s new deal with the Red Sox — five years and $145 million — could be a measuring stick of sorts for deGrom. Sale notably has a longer track record of dominance than deGrom, is one year younger than deGrom and was only one season away from free agency (compared to deGrom’s two).
Does deGrom want to be compensated similarly?
“I don’t know. He’s a little bit closer to free agency,” deGrom said. “I’d have to sit down with my agents again and go over some things to really fully understand where we’d like to be.”
But time is running out. DeGrom has said that if he doesn’t get a deal this spring, he will re-evaluate in the offseason and either re-broach the subject or wait one more season to hit the open market.
DeGrom’s comments came after his final Grapefruit League outing, a three-inning tune-up before the first Opening Day start of his career, a Thursday matchup against Max Scherzer and the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
He retired all nine Braves he faced Saturday, striking out five.
“Off-speed was really good and fastball I was able to locate wherever I wanted pretty much,” deGrom said. “That’s the best I’ve felt all spring.”