Jacob deGrom to receive a major extension on Tuesday, and according to Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen, it wouldn't have happened without a Mets legend's input. David Wright, who retired last season and then joined the Mets front office , apparently came up with the framework of deGrom's five-year, $137.5 million extension, which features a player opt-out before Year 5 and an optional sixth year for the team.
In a press conference held Wednesday to announce the new contract officially, Van Wagenen praised Wright for coming up with deGrom's "creative deal structure," while also hailing the former third baseman as "officially the most valuable special adviser in history," per Anthony DiComo. High praise for a guy who hasn't been at this for very long.
Mere days ago, it didn't look like there was any way an extension with deGrom would get done before the regular season. But the Mets managed to lock their ace down for the foreseeable future, while also showing off how valuable Wright can be in the front office.
"Being around David, he didn't have to say much," deGrom said of the passing of the torch as the face of the franchise, per SNY. "If I can do half the job he did -- he had a big impact on my career -- and just showing me kind of the way. So I think just seeing how he did it, how he conducted himself, if I can do half that then I'll be pretty excited."
When he was asked if he knew about Wright's hand in his new contract, deGrom simply replied: "No, I wasn't real sure of that, so I'll have to call him."
DeGrom has big shoes to fill. Wright was the fourth team captain in Mets history, following the likes of Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco. DeGrom will ostensibly be the face of a franchise looking to win in the immediate future, so the 2018 NL Cy Young winner has a lot to prove heading into this season.