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Jacob deGrom is upset with his 2016 salary

Saturday's Say Hey, Baseball includes Jacob deGrom's refusal to sign his 2016 contract, Jenrry Mejia's conspiracy theories, and Ruben Amaro's reflections on the Cole Hamels trade talks.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although arbitration has long been taken care of, and most of the free agents have signed, there are still salaries to be doled out. Specifically, this is the time of year during which teams assign dollar values to their pre-arbitration players. While players have no say in the matter, it’s usually not a big point of contention. There are always exceptions to that rule, and this year it seems Jacob deGrom fits that bill. After two great years to start his career, years in which he won a Rookie of the Year and followed that up with a seventh-place Cy Young finish, the Mets right-hander was given a $607,000 salary for the 2016 season. It turns out, deGrom feels he deserves much more than that, and is refusing to sign the contract.

Now, this sounds much worse than it really is. This isn’t like football where a player will hold out until he gets a more agreeable contract. In this case, the signature is more of a formality and deGrom is just not signing on principle. For what it’s worth, he says there are no hard feelings between himself and the Mets and suggests a long-term extension is still a possibility at some point in the future. Even if there’s a chance this has negative effects on that happening, we’ve seen similar situations to this in the past. Mike Trout, for example, was given a weirdly small salary after his rookie year, but obviously still came to terms for a large extension.

While this is the latest instance of pre-arbitration salaries causing issues, it’s not the first of the spring. Earlier in the week, Gerrit Cole expressed his frustration with the deal he got from the Pirates. This situation appears to be a lot more tense than deGrom’s, and could have implications for the possibility of an extension. Of course, that was already a questionable proposition given the fact that Cole is represented by Scott Boras. On the happier side of things, Boston gave another Boras client, Xander Bogaerts, a much larger salary than many could have expected. deGrom’s case lies somewhere in the middle of these two, and will likely be proven moot if things go as planned for him and the Mets.