DeGrom’s agent, Brodie van Wagenen, said in a statement to The Athletic that the All-Star is interested in “exploring a long-term partnership that would keep him in a Mets uniform for years to come.”
“If the Mets don’t share [the] same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now,” Van Wagenen said in the statement, which was published Monday. “The inertia of [the] current situation could complicate Jacob’s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.”
Van Wagenen attempted to clarify his comments later Monday to the New York Post, telling the paper that his statement to The Athletic is “not a demand for a trade.”
“It is simply expressing Jacob’s interest to stay with the club long term, and if he is not part of the future, he understands that the club is better positioned to trade him,” Van Wagenen told the Post.
DeGrom, 30, is under New York’s contractual control until after the 2020 season, when he can become a free agent. The right-hander has a 1.68 ERA and is making $7.4 million in salary this season, making him an attractive trade target for multiple teams.
Shortly after The Athletic published Van Wagenen’s statement, deGrom addressed his future with the Mets on Monday afternoon, reiterating his agent’s claim that he would prefer to remain with the Mets.
“I would love to play here for my whole career,” deGrom told reporters in Washington at the All-Star Game, according to MLB.com. “I think it’s just kind of deciding what we see as the future. It’s something that’s in the Mets’ control, and kind of out of mine.”
DeGrom said he and Van Wagenen have told the Mets “multiple times that we’re open to extension talks” but also said “there’s been no numbers discussed.”
“It’s up to them what they want to do,” he said.
A five-year veteran who helped lead the Mets to the World Series in 2015, deGrom is enjoying his best season in the majors but has been plagued by a lack of run support from the last-place Mets. He is just 5-4 in 19 starts despite having the best ERA in the majors and also being tied with Arizona’s Patrick Corbin for second in the National League in strikeouts (149), behind only Nationals ace Max Scherzer (182).
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said last month that the team is not actively looking to trade deGrom or Noah Syndergaard but acknowledged that “everything is on the table.”
“You have to look long and hard before you move a game-changing, top of the rotation pitcher,” said Ricco, who is helping oversee the team’s baseball operations while GM Sandy Alderson is away on medical leave.
The Mets are just 39-55 at the All-Star break — the second-worst record in the NL — and have been plagued by injuries to several high-profile players, including Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, AJ Ramos and Todd Frazier.