Stephen Strasburg updated his progress from Tommy John surgery during a conference call with reporters earlier today.
According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Strasburg said he has a follow-up with Dr. Lewis Yocum after Christmas and plans to begin throwing sometime in January before reporting to spring training along with the rest of the pitchers and catchers.
“They’re not going to say I’m ahead of schedule, because they don’t want to get my hopes up. Physically, I feel great,” Strasburg said. “They say I’m on track. I don’t have an exact timeline yet. I’m just taking it week by week and getting stronger every single day.”
The 22-year-old right-hander posted a 2.91 ERA and 92/17 K/BB ratio over his first 12 major league starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery in the first week of September. There’s still an outside chance he could pitch before the end of the 2011 season, but don’t look for the Nationals to push him too soon.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mets aren’t looking for long-term investment pieces in a trade for right-hander Noah Syndergaard, per unnamed sources. Instead, any deal the club makes will likely center on players who can make a difference for them in 2019 as they attempt to rise from last year’s fourth-place finish in the NL East and make a run at the postseason.
The 26-year-old starter has been a fixture of the Mets’ rotation since he got his start in the majors in 2015. Despite missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a torn lat muscle in his throwing arm, he returned to pitch his third full season in 2018 with a winning 13-4 record in 25 starts, 3.03 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 154 1/3 innings and finished the year with his first complete game shutout, to boot. After receiving a $2.975 million salary in 2018, he’s slated for another three years in arbitration before entering free agency in the 2022 season.
So far this offseason, the Padres have been the only team linked to the righty, though they didn’t come close to completing a trade when they first inquired about him back at the July deadline. If the Mets are serious about dealing Syndergaard, as Rosenthal seems to suggest, they could very well look at acquiring another couple of arms to round out their rotation. Assuming Syndergaard is moved this winter, the team will enter 2019 with right-handers Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, lefties Jason Vargas and (the oft-injured) Steven Matz — and relatively little depth behind the four.