Mets' Jacob deGrom Wants to Pitch into His 40s, Be an 'Inner-Circle Hall of Famer'

Adam WellsApril 14, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 05: New York Mets Pitcher Jacob DeGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2021, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom plans to keep pitching for a long time. 

In an interview with ESPN's Jeff Passan, the two-time National League Cy Young winner said he wants to pitch into his 40s. 

"I believe I can still compete at this level at that age," deGrom said. "To become an inner-circle Hall of Famer, I'm gonna have to play that long."

While there's still work for deGrom to do if he wants to be regarded as one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, there's no doubt he's one of the best pitchers in the sport right now. 

A late bloomer who didn't make his MLB debut until age 25, deGrom won National League Rookie of the Year in 2014 after posting a 2.69 ERA in 22 starts. 

Since the start of 2018, deGrom has taken his game to another level. The right-hander's 19.5 FanGraphs wins above replacement over the past four seasons are 3.7 more than any other pitcher in MLB (Max Scherzer, 15.8).

DeGrom has a 2.06 ERA with 649 strikeouts and 361 hits allowed in 503 innings during that span. He finished third in NL Cy Young voting last year after winning the award in 2018 and 2019. 

Even though he will turn 33 on June 19, deGrom looks to be as strong as ever. The three-time All-Star is averaging a career-high 99.1 mph on his fastball through two starts this season. 

As long as deGrom stays healthy, nothing about his evolution as a pitcher since debuting for the Mets seven years ago suggests a decline phase is imminent.