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Jacob deGrom and the Mets avoid arbitration as Cy Young winner nabs historic raise for 2019

It’s a good start.

Jacob deGrom got a historic raise for a historic season Friday. The Mets and their right-handed ace avoided arbitration with a $17 million agreement for his 2019 salary. The $9.6 million pay bump is the highest in arbitration history, edging out the $9.5 million raise that the Red Sox just gave Mookie Betts earlier Friday.

DeGrom obviously deserved a huge pay raise after his remarkable 2018 season, but most Mets fans were expecting him to get more by now. The Mets are hoping to work out a long-term extension with deGrom to make him the face of the franchise for the near future. DeGrom, 30, is open to a long-term deal to stay in Flushing.

He certainly was one of the only reasons the Mets drew fans to Citi Field last season.

Though he won just 10 of his 32 starts this season, and the Mets were just 14-18 when he took the mound, deGrom beat out Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola for the Cy Young in a landslide. He was voted first on 29 of the 30 ballots and became the first starter to claim the award with fewer than 13 wins.

Just look at the numbers:

- DeGrom led baseball with a 1.70 ERA, joining a group of 16 pitchers to post a sub-2.00 ERA and pitch over 200 innings since the mound was lowered in 1968.

- DeGrom had the second lowest ERA in baseball since 1996, the first full season after the last work stoppage. Only Zack Greinke’s 1.66 in 2015 was better.

- He is only the 11th pitcher in the last 100 years to pitch to a 1.70 ERA or lower in a season.

- He is the only pitcher in MLB history to post a sub-2.00 ERA with over 200 strikeouts (269), 50 or fewer walks (46) and 10 or fewer home runs (10).

- DeGrom led the majors in WAR (8.8) and tied for first in the NL in WHIP (0.91).

- Finally, deGrom’s ERA+, which factors in ballparks and opponents to standardize the stat, is 219. Only four pitchers have had an ERA+ of 200 or better since 2009. To put that in perspective, Nola had the second highest ERA+ in the NL this season at 170, 49 points behind deGrom.

So, there is no question deGrom earned his big raise.

The Mets avoided arbitration with all their eligible players this year.

Noah Syndergaard agreed to a $6 million deal, which is also a significant bump. Syndergaard, in his second year of arbitration, made $2.975 million in 2018.

Zack Wheeler, who beat the Mets in arbitration last winter, avoided it this time around. He agreed to a $5.97 million deal on Friday. Steven Matz agreed to a $2.625 million salary for next year, a fairly big increase over the $577,000 he made last year. It was Matz’s first year of eligibility.

Suddenly, the Mets young and cheap starters are making considerable cash. The rotation — with $8 million due Jason Vargas next year — will cost them over $62 million next season.

Outfielder Michael Conforto agreed to a $4.025 million contract. The 25-year old, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, made $650,094 last season.

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