Rockies still trying to re-sign Yorvit Torrealba

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Yesterday the Rockies signed Chris Iannetta to a three-year, $8.3 million contract with an option for 2013, but they’re apparently not done handing out multi-year deals to catchers. Iannetta actually lost his starting job to Yorvit Torrealba down the stretch and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have offered Torrealba a two-year, $5.6 million contract to stick around and split time again.
Torrealba is said to be seeking $6 million over two years, so only $400,000 stands in the way of a seemingly inevitable agreement. Both catchers are right-handed hitters, so they don’t really form any kind of platoon, and presumably the 31-year-old Torrealba realizes that the 26-year-old Iannetta will get every opportunity to claim most of the playing time.
Torrealba has a good defensive reputation and has hit .258/.316/.393 in four seasons with the Rockies, which is somewhat respectable for a catcher, but Iannetta’s career .242/.361/.446 line gives him significantly more upside. Having both Iannetta and Torrealba would be a nice luxury for the Rockies, but if they like Iannetta enough to keep him around through 2013 it would probably make more sense to back him up with someone making $400,000 and spend $5 million elsewhere.

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.