An article on MLB.com mentioned Jacob deGrom as a possible candidate for a contract extension. It raises the question of whether it would be a good idea, and whether the Mets should lock up any or all of their young starters.
On one hand, they can wait and just sign everyone from year to year. It might end up cheaper that way. But all of these pitchers have the potential to be superb. Once they reach arbitration, all bets could be off. The Mets budget could be busted every year. Signing them now would give the Mets some predictability over the coming years to help build the rest of the team.
deGrom is the obvious candidate to sign first. He has proven himself over the past two years to be an ace. Locking him up would guarantee he would lead the staff for the next half-decade or so.
Matt Harvey is also a candidate, but with Scott Boras as his agent, there is almost no way he would sign.
What about Noah Syndergaard? He has only pitched half a season, but it would not be unprecedented to sign a player with so little experience. Hell, the Astros signed Jon Singleton to a $10 million deal before he ever set foot in a major league batters box (that deal isn’t looking so good for the Astros right now, but whatever). The Mets probably would never do it, but it would not be crazy.
It is far too premature for Steven Matz. Although he might end up to be the best of the lot, he has to prove he can stay healthy before the Mets make a commitment.
The same can be said for Zack Wheeler. With a healthy year, he could join the conversation this time next off-season.
Aside from giving the Mets salary predictability, it would send a message to the fans that these guys will be here for a while. Let’s face it, who among us is not counting down the days before they each leave Flushing for the riches of free agency? The Mets have so much goodwill right now; signing at least one of the starters would go a long way to even further satisfy a suddenly happy fan base.