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Mets Avoid Arbitration With Jacob deGrom, Reach Record-Setting Agreement

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets agreed to a $17 million, one-year contract, a record raise for an arbitration-eligible player from his $7.4 million salary.

The deal was agreed to Friday afternoon, just hours before the pitcher and team were set to exchange proposed salaries in arbitration and have a judge settle the matter for 2019.

The $17 million deal set a new mark for a pitcher in his third year of arbitration. The $9.6 million raise for an arbitration-eligible player also edged out the previous record of $9.5 million which had been set by Boston's Mookie Betts Friday morning.

DeGrom led the majors with a 1.70 ERA in 217 innings and was selected to his second All-Star Game. He was fifth in MVP voting after receiving little run support on a fourth-place squad.

The right-hander went 10-9 with 269 strikeouts in 32 remarkably consistent starts for a team that finished 77-85. The 30-year-old can become a free agent after the 2020 season if the Mets don't sign their electric ace to a multiyear contract by then.

New York sounds open to a long-term deal under new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who was deGrom's agent before switching sides and taking the front-office job. Talks could take place soon, though Van Wagenen has said he'll recuse himself from negotiations involving deGrom to avoid a conflict of interest.

Van Wagenen made waves during the 2018 All-Star Game when (acting as deGrom's representative) he called on the Mets to pay the eventual Cy Young winner or trade him immediately. Now serving as New York's GM, Van Wagenen has spent most of the offseason shoring up the roster behind the team's franchise ace.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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