NEW YORK -- The Mets briefly discussed a long-term contract extension this offseason with starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday, but talks never advanced to a serious stage.
"There were some preliminary conversations about that," Alderson said, adding that he "wouldn't create any expectation" for renewed talks in the future. "I think we mutually agreed to go forward with the arbitration process. I think that's where they are at the moment and that's where we are."
Arbitration-eligible for the second time, deGrom agreed to a one-year deal worth $7.4 million. He will be eligible for two more raises through the arbitration process before becoming eligible for free agency following the 2020 season.
At that point, deGrom will be 32 years old, atypically old for a first-time free agent. Although deGrom battled injuries early in his professional career, he submitted his most durable season in 2017, throwing a career-high 201 1/3 innings. Finishing eighth in National League Cy Young Award voting, deGrom went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a career-best 239 strikeouts.
The Mets have mostly avoided discussing long-term extensions with their young pitchers, a strategy that has mostly worked in their favor as injuries have ravaged the rotation. Alderson indicated that the Mets did not engage in extension talks this offseason with Noah Syndergaard, who was also eligible for arbitration.
The Mets signed infielder Ty Kelly, who appeared in 40 games for them from 2016-17, to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Kelly's claim to fame is the pinch-hit single he hit off Madison Bumgarner in the eighth inning of the 2016 NL Wild Card Game, giving him a 1.000 lifetime postseason batting average.