Scutaro rumor yet another cautionary tale for Hot Stove

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The unintended fallout from Saturday’s report in Venezuelan newspaper Diario Panorama regarding free agent Marco Scutaro is yet another cautionary tale of what can happen when Hot Stove news is misinterpreted.



Augusto Cardenas, who conducted the interview with Scutaro, wrote in a series of “tweets” that the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mariners and Rangers were among those interested
in the 34-year-old infielder. According to the report, Scutaro was
approached about playing shortstop for the Red Sox, second base for the
Dodgers and third base by other teams. 

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, who spoke to Cardenas on the phone, took this to mean that the Mariners and Rangers were the teams to contact Scutaro about third base, a rather curious development from the Rangers’ perspective with Michael Young expected to be the starter.



Jordan Bastain, who relayed the news via MLB.com’s Hot Stove Blog, quickly corrected the error, but the rumors made it far enough that that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was forced to address the rumblings with Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.



“We haven’t inquired about anyone for 3B and have no plans to,” Daniels wrote in an email. “End of story.”



Saturday’s Hot Stove lesson? The game “Telephone” can be just as dangerous, if not more so, over the series of tubes that is the internet.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.