UPDATE: Orioles not close to deal with Vladimir Guerrero

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UPDATE: Orioles president Andy MacPhail tells Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com that Bowden’s report “is not accurate.” He’s not the first one to say that.

8:32 AM: According to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio, Vladimir Guerrero is close to signing a one-year contract with the Orioles. Bowden calls it a “humbling deal” and “one of the best free agent bargains,” so we’re going to assume he’s not getting two-year deal he wanted this offseason.

Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported on Thursday that the Orioles had the “inside track” on Guerrero, though the team’s interest was downplayed by Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.

Guerrero, who turns 36 next month, batted .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI for the Rangers last season, although he did stumble to a .748 OPS after the All-Star break and struggled miserably during the World Series.

The potential addition of Guerrero would complicate things in Baltimore, as Luke Scott would have to find some bats either in left field at the expense of Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold or at first base for the newly-signed Derrek Lee. For what it’s worth, Scott had a .902 OPS last season, so I’m not so sure he deserves to be the odd man out here.

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.