UPDATE: Well, the Giants have officially recalled Brandon Belt from Triple-A Fresno, but it’s not for the reason we thought.
While it looked like Belt would replace Carlos Beltran on the active roster, the Giants have placed Andres Torres on the disabled list with a contusion to his lower right leg. Torres suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his leg during last night’s game.
2:00 PM: According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Brandon Belt is currently en route to Miami from Triple-A Fresno.
His activation isn’t 100 percent certain, but this is a strong indication that the Giants are leaning toward placing Carlos Beltran on the disabled list. Beltran hasn’t played since Sunday due to a strained right wrist/hand and was still experiencing pain swinging the bat yesterday.
Nate Schierholtz was held out of the starting lineup for the past two days with a right hip flexor injury, but that he was able to pinch-hit last night indicates that he should be healthy enough to return to the lineup relatively soon.
Belt, 23, is batting .218/.322/.333 with two home runs, seven RBI and a .656 OPS over 90 plate appearances with the Giants this season. It’s worth nothing that he played right field last night for Triple-A Fresno.
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.