Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News writes today that Jamie Moyer is “entering the Hall of Fame conversation.” The case is not a surprising one: wins and age. He’s lasted forever and thus he’s starting to get near big names in the win column, Barkowitz basically says, so that makes him a legitimate contender for Cooperstown.
I don’t think Moyer is a Hall of Famer (more below) but I actually think Berkowtiz’s wins rationale does Moyer’s case a bit of a disservice. Moyer’s famous longevity has done more than merely produce wins for himself. Longevity and durability is a value to a team in and of itself in that, the more often and more regularly he takes the hill, the better off the team is in terms of resource allocation and all of that kind of stuff. I’m not a stat guy so I won’t risk mangling the statistical case, but know that Moyer’s longevity has provided an aggregate value to his employers that isn’t fully captured by merely reciting his win totals.
But no, I still don’t think it’s enough value to be considered a Hall of Famer. Maybe I’d consider using my (imaginary) vote for him if he did something truly unique like hung around until he was 50 and got his 300th win (at some point sentimentality and round numbers do affect me), but Moyer is really just the ultimate longevity-guy, and I don’t think I could ever vote for someone who never had even a short Hall of Fame peak.
I think that’s ultimately where the BBWAA will come down too. He’ll get some votes as thanks for being a good guy and a nice story, but he won’t get serious consideration. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t been a heck of a pitcher — he has — just that he hasn’t really made himself worthy of enshrinement among the elites.
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.