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.
- At the start of the week, Brew Crew Ball’s Travis Sarandos let loose a theory about an imposter Hank the Ballpark Pup. Yesterday, the team had an actual press conference to address it.
- Jenrry Mejia is fresh off being the first MLB player to be banned for life due to positive PED tests. Now, he’s claiming it was all because of a witch-hunt perpetrated by the league.
- The Royals gave Salvador Perez an extension despite already being locked into a team-friendly deal. Is a similar thing going to happen with Madison Bumgarner?
- Maikel Franco is one of the many exciting young Phillies. Early in camp, it’s looking like he could have a real breakout in 2016.
- Last winter was dominated by Cole Hamels trade talks. Now with the Red Sox, Ruben Amaro is saying his current employer was right in refusing his trade demands.
- In his first season managing the Dodgers, Dave Roberts is trying to get the Dodgers to run more.
- Marcell Ozuna was one of the most disappointing players of 2015. What exactly went wrong?
- Kolten Wong really wanted to stay in St. Louis for a long time. It makes sense. Have you heard they have the best fans in baseball?
- The Brewers are most likely going to be bad this year. But what happens if every player hits his ultimate ceiling?
- Detroit brought Cameron Maybin in to add outfield depth this year, but now he’s hurt. Who can the Tigers turn to now?