The New York Mets renewed All-Star pitcher Jacob deGrom’s contract for $607,000 on Friday after the sides could not agree on a deal for the 2016 season.
DeGrom, who helped the Mets reach the World Series for the first time since 2000, gets a 9 percent raise from his earnings last year, when he had a $531,875 salary plus a $25,000 bonus for winning the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year award, a total of $556,875.
“That’s the business side of the game,” deGrom said. “That’s why I hired my agents. I feel like I have some of the best in the business, and it’s a business decision that we decided to make. We have great respect for the Mets and the system they have, and I feel like we have a great relationship with them. As I’ve said before, I love playing here and I want to be in this uniform for a long time. It was just a decision based on the business side of the game.”
Under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Mets had the right to unilaterally renew deGrom’s contract from March 2-11.
DeGrom has 1 year, 139 days of service time and could be eligible for salary arbitration next winter if he is among the top 22 percent by service time for players with more than 2 years but less than 3. The cutoff was 130 days this year and 133 in 2015.
“With respect to players 0-3, we have – as is the case with most if not all of the clubs – have a fairly straight-forward approach to determining salaries,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Yes, it is based on a formula predicated on performance. We’re really talking about marginal differences in salaries. This is first renewal we’ve had since I’ve been here, so the process has worked fairly well, and we respect Jacob’s right to take a renewal if what he feels and is best in his interest, and we’ll go from there.”
DeGrom said he is open to discussing a long-term deal but the team has not yet approached him about one. Alderson said it was early in the spring calendar to start contract discussions, noting that agents typically don’t come in until later in camp.
“I don’t think this will affect that in any way,” deGrom said. “We’re still open to discussions for long-term things, but nothing is in the works now and I don’t think this will have any effect on that.”
DeGrom was 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 191 innings last year, his first full season in the majors, and was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four postseason starts.
“We respect the Mets’ right to determine a pre-arbitration player’s salary and their effort to be consistent with their players,” deGrom’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Baseball, said in a statement. “But given Jacob’s standing as one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball and his 2015 performance, his worth cannot be properly valued by a formula. Like the Mets, he is simply exercising his rights under the CBA. This will not affect Jacob’s relationship with the Mets. Both parties are focused on preparing for the season and getting the Mets back to the World Series.”
Noah Syndergaard agreed to a deal paying $535,375 in the majors and $252,542 in the minors. Steven Matz’s contract calls for $515,750 in the majors and $187,506 in the minors.
Greinke goes two scoreless in spring debut with Diamondbacks
Zack Greinke pitched two scoreless innings in his Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring training debut, a 6-3 victory over an Oakland Athletics’ split squad.
The Diamondbacks’ new ace, signed to a $206.5 million, six-year contract, gave up one hit and struck out two. He threw 25 pitches, 16 of them strikes.
One of the outs Greinke got came when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt made a diving stop of Chris Coghlan’s sharp grounder and flipped the ball to the pitcher covering the bag for the final out of the first inning.
Greinke struck out Sam Fuld swinging in the first and got Andrew Lambo looking to end the second.
Jean Segura, acquired from Milwaukee in a five-player deal, hit a leadoff homer off Felix Doubront.
Addison Russell homers in Cubs win over Angels
Addison Russell hit a two-run homer, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 before a Cactus League record crowd of 15,446 at Sloan Park.
Russell connected off left-hander Jose Alvarez in the fourth inning, a drive onto the grass berm behind the left-field fence.
“I didn’t know he had that kind of power,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You saw it last year during the season, and I’m watching him in batting practice right now. He’s very strong.”
Angels starter Jered Weaver allowed two hits and struck out three in two innings. Cubs starter Pierce Johnson gave up two hits in two innings.
“He looked good,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He hit his spots, and showed good secondary pitches.”
Kris Bryant agrees to one-year deal with Cubs
Kris Bryant got a raise from the major league minimum to $652,000 after winning the NL Rookie of the Year award in unanimous vote.
Bryant was among 21 Cubs players who agreed to one-year contracts. The third baseman earned $474,221 last year, when he made his big league debut April 17 and hit .275 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs. He was paid at a rate of the minimum $507,500 while in the majors last year and at a rate of $82,700 while in the minors.
Others agreeing to deals included infielders Tommy La Stella ($532,000) and Addison Russell ($527,000) and catcher-outfielder Kyle Schwarber ($522,000).
Macier Izturis hangs up spikes
Toronto Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis is retiring after 11 big league seasons.
The 35-year-old, in Toronto’s spring training camp with a minor league contract, announced his decision during a news conference.
Hindered by injuries in recent years, Izturis had not appeared in a big-league game since April 2014. He had left knee surgery in 2014 and shoulder surgery last year.
He re-signed with the Blue Jays in January, agreeing to a deal that would have given him a $900,000, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster.
“I put my heart and my soul and my body into it this year to see how it was going to feel, but my body cannot handle it anymore,” Izturis said through a translator. “So, I decided this is going to be my last time playing baseball.”
A career .269 hitter, Izturis spent 11 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Angels and Blue Jays. He hit .300 with 65 RBIs in 114 games in 2009, helping the Angels win the AL West.