All it took were some beef-and-cheese taquitos and 10-for-$2 mini-tacos from 7-Eleven to seal NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom’s $137.5 million deal with the Mets.
OK, well, not quite.
“I only had a couple bites,” deGrom said with a smile Wednesday at a hotel outside Washington, where he discussed his new five-year contract on the eve of New York’s season opener against Max Scherzer and the Nationals.
After weeks of back-and-forth dating to before spring training, it wasn’t until Monday that deGrom and the Mets were able to work out terms, including a guaranteed $52.5 million deferred into the 2030s. There is a team option for 2024 that, if exercised, would raise the total to $170 million over six years.
It was an unusual negotiation, given that Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen used to be deGrom’s agent.
“I know a lot of people were worried about Brodie — which side he would be on and how that would all work out,” said Jeff Wilpon, the club’s chief operating officer. “Jacob and I did smile a couple of times with what was going on in the room. But we got it done.”
Photo: Cliff Owen / Associated Press
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The agreement was finalized during a session that lasted about nine hours at the airport in Sarasota, Fla., where the team played its final Grapefruit League exhibition Monday.
When the deal was done, deGrom flew to New York for a physical exam. His teammates went to Syracuse for a workout.
“Long day,” deGrom said.
“At one point, we hadn’t eaten for about six or seven hours,” Van Wagenen said, “so I had to make a 7-Eleven run.”
DeGrom, a right-hander who turns 31 in June, had a 1.70 ERA in 2018 and allowed three runs or fewer in his final 29 starts.
He is 55-41 with a 2.67 ERA in five seasons in the majors.
Blue roof? The Rays are exploring the possibility of using blue lights to tint the roof of Tropicana Field in hopes of giving the domed stadium a different look as well as making it easier for players to track flyballs.
The lights are part of a new LED lighting system installed throughout the team’s home park. Plans to use them this year are pending approval by Major League Baseball, which is not expected to make a decision before the Rays open the season Thursday against the Astros.
The club began testing the blue lights after breaking spring training camp in Port Charlotte this week, with players offering mixed reviews about how effective they might be in helping them follow flyballs.
Briefly: Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor’s recovery from a strained right calf muscle has been set back by another injury: a sprained left ankle. Lindor, second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielder Bradley Zimmer (a USF alum) will start the season on the 10-day disabled list. … The Twins placed three relievers on the 10-day injured list: right-handers Matt Magill (shoulder) and Addison Reed (thumb), and left-hander Gabriel Moya (shoulder).
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/20-cent-7-Eleven-tacos-helped-fuel-Jacob-13722337.php.