They’re characterizing Chipper Jones’ knee injury as a “slight” meniscus tear, but is there anything “slight” when you’re 39-years-old and are already pretty brittle to begin with? The plan now: cortisone shot and some rest, but if that doesn’t work surgery is likely, which will put Jones out for a few weeks.
Remember that stuff I wrote this morning about future Hall of Famers as key players on a contending team? Well, Jones is another one. Unlike the guys up in New York, however, Jones has continued to be a key contributor to the Braves this year, hitting .275/.366/.465 and leading the team with 27 RBI. His loss will be felt if he does, indeed, need surgery.
For now the plan will be to either move Martin Prado to third and have Eric Hinske cover left field (my preference) or have Brooks Conrad take over for Jones at third (opposing hitters’ preference). I’m guessing Fredi Gonzalez would go with the former. Though really, if there is an extended Jones-absence, Atlanta will have to pick up a left fielder or a third baseman, methinks.
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.