Jayson Werth would like to see Charlie Manuel manage the Nationals

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When Charlie Manuel was let go by the Phillies yesterday, many speculated whether he has managed his final game in the big leagues. He turns 70 in January, so that’s a legitimate possibility. Still, one of his former players, Jayson Werth, told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that he would love to see him manage the Nationals next season.

“Oh, of course,” Werth said this afternoon. “I don’t know if he fits into the organization’s plan or whatever. But I mean, I love playing for the guy.”

It’s no surprise to hear this from Werth, as he played under Manuel in Philadelphia from 2007-2010 and has credited him for becoming the player he is today. In fact, he called Manuel “the best manager I ever played for, nothing against Davey.”

Manuel is one year younger than the retiring Davey Johnson, but that’s probably not the kind of youth the Nationals have in mind for their next manager. One would imagine they would like their next hire to be a long-term option. Then again, we never thought we’d see Johnson manage in the majors again, so stranger things have happened.

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.