Reid Brignac sidelined by “nasty little” foot injury, could miss Opening Day

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Reid Brignac will be shut down for at least a few days with what manager Joe Maddon called “a plantar fasciitis kind of a thing” and a “nasty little” foot injury.

Maddon indicated to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that the injury could keep Brignac from beginning the season on the active roster, in which case Sean Rodriguez would be the Opening Day shortstop.

And based on how Maddon described the injury, it sounds pretty bad:

You’ve just got to treat it, and eventually, I guess, it rips, and when it rips then you have to treat it at that particular moment, too. But for right now that’s what he’s got going on. It’s awkward, it’s one of the most awkward injuries I’ve ever heard about. There’s no definitive way to treat it, you’re going to be in pain, you can still run on it, it’s still going to hurt, you know that. And then you have to wait for the sheath to rip, for it to heal itself. So it’s just a weird position.

Plantar fasciitis has ruined athletes in every sport, so even if Brignac can make it back into the lineup for the season opener his foot problems could be an issue all season.

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.