Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher Jacob deGrom.
Player Review: Jacob deGrom
2018 Stats: 32 Starts, 217 Innings Pitched, 10-9 Won-Loss Record, 1.70 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1 Complete Game, 269:46 K/BB Ratio, .196 Batting Average Against
Story: After a strong 2017 season, expectations were high for Mets’ pitcher Jacob deGrom. deGrom got off to a slow start, pitching to a 3.24 ERA in his first four starts of the year, but started to take off after that. An elbow injury sent deGrom to the disabled list in early May, but when he came back he emerged as the best pitcher in baseball. deGrom constantly went seven innings, allowing one earned run or fewer in 21 of his starts, and dominated the league throughout the season. That made deGrom a lock for the All Star team, but his teammates often let him down through a combination of poor defense, a lack of run support, and a lot of blown leads from the bullpen. Despite all of that, and a public brouhaha that emerged when deGrom’s agent issued a “pay me or trade me” declaration at the All Star Break, deGrom continued to do his job very effectively. The Mets helped deGrom out a bit more in the second half as he posted five more wins to get over .500 for the season, removing the final hurdle some voters would need to award him the Cy Young. deGrom was dominant in both the first half (1.68 ERA) and second (1.73 ERA), proving to be the Mets’ most valuable player in 2018.
The numbers do not lie. deGrom was not only the best player on the Mets in 2018, but he was also the best pitcher in baseball.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Third Time)
Odds of Returning: 99.9%
2019 Role: Ace
There is a very remote possibility that the Mets explore trading deGrom to overhaul their position players, but that became less likely with the team’s strong finish to 2018. The Mets will look to build around deGrom, and the first order of business for the new General Manager should be to lock up deGrom to a long term extension. deGrom would earn about $15 million in arbitration this year, so the Mets may be able to lessen the present day figure a bit in order to add some flexibility to this year’s payroll in exchange for long term security. It makes too much sense not to do.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Matt den Dekker!