Rockies interested in Troy Glaus as Todd Helton’s backup

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Troy Glaus finished the season in a horrible slump, going from the Braves’ starting first baseman to completely out of the team’s plans, so predictably there’s been little reported interest in him as a free agent.

However, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post the Rockies may have some interest in Glaus as “a right-handed version of Jason Giambi” who would “play a little first base and pinch-hit.”

Giambi filled that role for the Rockies this season, but wasn’t an ideal fit to back up Todd Helton because they’re both left-handed hitters. Glaus would offer a right-handed bat to back up Helton and his ability to at least serve as an emergency option at third base would also give the Rockies some added flexibility over Giambi.

Whether or not Glaus can still make a positive impact in even a part-time role is another question. He signed a one-year contract with the Braves after sitting out nearly all of 2009 due to a shoulder injury and got off to a strong start, hitting .280 with an .874 OPS and 14 homers through his first 70 games.

Glaus then went 39 consecutive games without homering and batted .183 with a .557 OPS overall in 58 games after June 20, finishing the season with a .240 batting average, .340 on-base percentage, and .400 slugging percentage in 483 plate appearances. Even that modest season line would make him somewhat useful as a backup to Helton who could be spotted primarily against left-handed pitching and the Rockies seem like a good fit considering how little interest there figures to be 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.