Brandon Morrow leaves start with left oblique strain

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UPDATE: According to Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that Morrow was in “considerable pain” and that the injury was “probably substantial.” It sounds like a DL-stint is likely in his future.

8:10 PM: Davidi reports that Morrow was diagnosed with a left oblique strain. He’s considered day-to-day right now, which suggests that the injury is minor, but we should know more on his status in the next couple of days.

7:40 PM: Bad news for the Blue Jays.

Shi Davidi of of Sportsnet.ca reports that Brandon Morrow left tonight’s start against the Nationals in the first inning with an apparent injury to his right side.

Morrow gave up a leadoff double to Steve Lombardozzi before suffering the injury on a pitch to Bryce Harper. He threw just nine pitches before being replaced by Chad Beck.

We should hear more on his status soon, but an oblique injury would likely mean a stint on the disabled list. Losing Morrow would be a tough break for Toronto, as the 27-year-old right-hander is off to the best start of his career. Sacrificing some velocity and strikeouts for the sake of improved command and control, he entered tonight’s action with a 2.92 ERA and 67/24 K/BB ratio in 12 starts. He also leads the majors with three shutouts.

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.