Huston Street was activated from the disabled list prior to last night’s game against the Dodgers, but he’s not getting his old job back. At least not right away.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post was told by Rockies manager Jim Tracy that Rafael Betancourt will remain in the the closer role for the time being.
“I’m not going to pull the plug on Betancourt right now,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “I can’t do that . . . can’t do it. It’s a decision that’s being made in the best interests of the players and the club, period.”
Street has converted 29 out of 32 save chances this season while posting a 4.06 ERA and 49/8 K/BB ratio over 51 innings, but was scored upon in three out of his last four appearances before landing on the disabled list with a right triceps strain earlier this month. Meanwhile, Betancourt hasn’t allowed a run over his last 20 appearances dating back to July 6. The veteran right-hander has a ridiculous 30/1 K/BB ratio over 17 2/3 innings during the same timespan. The Rockies will likely just ease Street back into the role, but it’s tough to say Betancourt doesn’t deserve the opportunity.
Street, who turned 28 earlier this month, will make $7.5 million next season in the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $22.5 million contract. His contract inclues a $9 million player option for 2013, which the Rockies can buy out for $500,000.
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.