Pitcher Noah Syndergaard fired a shot at the New York Mets front office Sunday, expressing frustration that teammate Jacob deGrom hasn’t been signed to a contract extension and that the team has an unconventional travel schedule prior to Opening Day.
The Mets and deGrom, who won the 2018 National League Cy Young Award, talked in the offseason, but deGrom told reporters Saturday he wasn’t confident of an agreement in the next few days.
The Mets and deGrom agreed to a one-year, $17 million contract rather than go to arbitration in January. He is eligible to become a free agent in 2021, and Syndergaard said he doesn’t want it to reach that point. This weekend, the Boston Red Sox and ace Chris Sale agreed to a five-year, $145 million extension, and the Houston Astros reached a two-year, $66 million deal with former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
“Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want to keep him happy, so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all this fuss and pay the man already,” Syndergaard told reporters.
—Cleveland Indians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez was carted off the field after fouling a pitch off his left knee.
The switch-hitter was batting right-handed in the third inning of an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox in Goodyear, Ariz.
Ramirez immediately dropped to the dirt and remained down for several minutes before being assisted to the medical cart. The team called it a left knee contusion and said Ramirez was being taken for X-rays.
—Catcher Erik Kratz will back up Buster Posey in San Francisco after the Giants traded for the veteran.
The Giants sent minor league infielder C.J. Hinojosa to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Kratz.
Kratz, 38, agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million, with $300,000 guaranteed, with the Brewers in November. Milwaukee added Kratz last May in a deal with the New York Yankees and he played in 67 games for the Brewers, batting .236 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.
—The Cleveland Indians signed infielder Brad Miller to a one-year major league contract.
The versatile veteran has played almost every position on the diamond, but the Indians will likely ask him to handle second base while All-Star Jason Kipnis recovers from a right calf strain.
Kipnis has already been ruled out for Thursday’s season opener at Minnesota. Miller, 29, hit .385 with two homers and three RBIs this spring in 12 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
—Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo will open the season on the injured list, manager Brandon Hyde confirmed.
Trumbo, who led the majors with 47 home runs in 2016, has batted .167 in 13 plate appearances this spring as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee. He is a two-time All-Star (2012, 2016) with a .250 career average, 218 home runs and 626 RBIs in 1,085 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and Orioles.
“We’re going to let him continue to do his rehab down here,” Hyde told reporters in Sarasota, Fla., according to MLB.com. “I give him so much credit for everything he’s done during his whole rehab process. Give him a ton of credit for trying to come back from a tough injury earlier than anybody has.”
—The Astros finalized a two-year extension with Justin Verlander, the team announced.
“Justin Verlander is one of the elite pitchers in baseball,” said general manager Jeff Luhnow in announcing the deal with the team’s ace. “His late-season arrival in 2017 helped the Astros deliver its first ever championship to the city of Houston. Our fans share in my excitement that Justin will be in an Astros uniform for at least three more years.”
The extension adds two years and $66 million to Verlander’s current deal, which had one year remaining. It makes Verlander the highest-paid pitcher in terms of annual average value ($33 million).
—The Chicago Cubs will option outfielder Ian Happ to Triple-A Iowa, meaning he won’t start the season on the big-league roster.
Happ, 24, was unhappy with the decision, according to manager Joe Maddon. He is expected to get time in center field, second base and third base. The Cubs also are hoping he’ll get more comfortable batting from the left side of the plate.
“I really don’t blame him,” Maddon said at spring training on Saturday. “The guy has really performed very well for us at different periods of time on the major-league level. He is so ingrained in the culture within the building and within the clubhouse. Great teammate. A lot of the veterans have accepted him very readily, which doesn’t happen often with young players.”
—Field Level Media