Joey Votto undergoes “minor procedure” after setback with surgically-repaired knee

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The Reds were originally hoping that Joey Votto would only have to miss three to four weeks following surgery on July 17 to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, but that won’t be the case.

According to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer, returned to Cincinnati last night and had a “minor procedure” to have a piece of floating cartilage removed from his knee. He’ll need another 7-10 days of recovery time, which could put him at risk for missing all of August.

Votto experienced some soreness in the knee during sliding drills as recently as Thursday and told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he wasn’t “ready to play yet.” The floating cartilage was found after he was sent for an MRI.

Votto, 28, is batting .342/.465/.604 with 14 home runs, 49 RBI and a 1.069 OPS in 86 games played this season. The Reds managed a 10-game winning streak during his absence, but dropped five in a row before yesterday’s win over the Cubs. They enter today’s action at 67-46, 3 1/2 games in front of the Pirates in the National League Central.

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.