Jacob deGrom had no business pitching again this season, and he knew it. The good news, though, is that Mets realized it too.
Jacob deGrom‘s aborted season officially came to an end yesterday when the Mets announced they were only interested in seeing deGrom have a healthy offseason with the goal to return at full strength to Port St. Lucie next spring.
It has been weeks since deGrom spoke of his health and plans to return, but it is safe to assume that he not only agree with the Mets, but if it had been solely his discretion, he too would have opted to shut it down for 2021.
Though the circumstances are a bit different, the Mets moved in the opposite direction with Noah Syndergaard, allowing him to make his first appearance of the season, pitching a spotless inning during the second game of a doubleheader against the Marlins.
Mets Weigh The Syndergaard Options
While Jacob deGrom is sure to return to the Mets next season, Syndergaard’s situation puts him as a free agent when the World Series ends.
Thus, the motivation for the Mets to have a look-see before then at least equalized Syndergaard’s need to have a “show-and-tell” for other teams who may be interested in his services.
Along those lines, and according to a report in The Athletic, Syndergaard doesn’t expect to be packing his bags.
Syndergaard: “I’m fairly confident we’ll reach an agreement, and I’ll be pitching here next year.” He added that he based that on “speculation” and “hopefulness.”
The Mets will likely either sign Syndergaard to a one-year deal as a “prove it to us season,” or they will make him a qualified offer, which next year is expected to be worth around $20 million.
The qualified offer is a win-win situation (dollars aside) for the Mets because it means that if Syndergaard refuses and signs with another team, that team will pay the Mets with a high draft choice for the loss of his services.
Jacob deGrom: The Focus Of The 2022 Mets
But the real story is Jacob deGrom, who went through not one but an assortment of arm injuries that began in June and never let up. None were (or are) serious enough to require surgery, but the Mets had a tough time working through a correct diagnosis for at least one.
When Jacob deGrom made his last start, the Mets held a 4.5 game advantage in the National League East, a lead that would rapidly disappear without deGrom pitching every fifth day.
His loss was duly felt for the team and Mets fans, and the Mets were never the same after the All-Star game in Denver.
For Jacob deGrom, though, the disappointment to not pitch again during what had built up to a record-setting pace that was reaching the height of Bob Gibson‘s 1968 season and a third Cy Young award.
Jacob deGrom’s numbers then were the same as they stand now – and they are simply staggering.
Over 15 starts, deGrom won seven of nine decisions. His ERA stood at 1.08, and over 92 innings, he surrendered only 11 bases on balls while accumulating 146 strikeouts that represented 14.9 K’s for every nine innings pitched.
No one had ever seen anything like that before, as Jacob deGrom worked his way through the toughest lineups in the league while barely breaking a sweat.
Jacob deGrom: Too Big To Fail
Could he have pitched in a game before Sunday’s end to the season?
Of course, he could have, and if the Mets had made a pre-game announcement, Citi Field would have been jammed for a final time this season while dollar signs danced in the heads of vendors and Steve Cohen.
But to their credit, they did the talking and decision-making this time, leaving behind only the trust in needing Jacob deGrom next year more than now.
See Ya Next Year
If both come back healthy and strong, the possibility of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard back-to-back against any team in the league is something to behold and wished for by Mets fans.
At least for now, though, Jacob deGrom can rest easy – at least in his mind – knowing the pressure is off, and all that is necessary is for him to do the work required during the winter that will help in giving him a head start on an injury-free year in 2022.
Given that we’re talking about Jacob deGrom, a consummate professional athlete, we can be sure he will be eager and ready to face any opposition when the bell rings next April.
The only question is will the league be ready for Jacob deGrom?
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
WIzdom A Cappella I agree that it was the right decision. What I find troubling is that Rojas, once again, was unable to logically explain the decision in the context of Syndy’s start on the same day.
VN Snacks They better Not tell us in December he needs surgery
Robert James Or maybe he needed surgery 2 months ago and returns healthy next year.
John Del Prete What is the truth with this injury? Will he be hurt on and off all of next year? Need surgery or what. Good questions, but don’t hold your breathe waiting for the truth from Mets.
Josie Clark That’s great news!! Let him come back next year even better
Chris Barney Yeah so you go into next season not knowing if he’s healthy. If his arm is gonna blow out it will at any time. You would rather do that now than next season. The Mets are screwed if he blows out his arm early next year. If he did it now then you can go get a Max Scherzer. Now you don’t know
Geoff Bermingham Yeah, why on earth would a valuable commodity like him come off the DL for one game late in a lost season? Made no sense. Couldn’t believe they were actually considering it.
Evan Christon One more year as a Met then he is a free agent
John Welch Should not have pitched Syndergaard, although it did hint that Thor is ready to pitch again…just in time to be a free agent. At least, as you say, the Mets did not grind deGrom’s arm into dust. Cohen should hire a moderately good GM and president, and let the new guy clean up the organization. Keep the players; replace the staff and many of the minor league coaches. Fire the manager, on grounds that the Mets melted this summer, and the first job of a manager is to keep his team playing.
Larry Jankowski Thats fine, shut them all down 4 more days and that’s it…..what a bust of a season.