From the Star-Telegram, some quotes from Nelson Cruz about his time in Texas apparently coming to an end. The usual stuff: it’s been good, I’ll always remember my time there fondly, but it’s a business, etc, etc. But this is what caught my eye:
Free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz was in Colorado on a ski vacation, his first time hitting the slopes, when his phone rang with the news that he won’t be returning to the Texas Rangers.
Talk about ruining a good time.
I guess as a free agent there are no contract provisions in place keeping him from engaging in activities that might get one injured. At the same time: if you’re facing a free agent market as tough as this one is for corner guys with no defensive value and draft pick compensation attached to you, maybe you want to do everything you can to keep from adding one more knock against your marketability. Like, I dunno, a broken leg.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mets aren’t looking for long-term investment pieces in a trade for right-hander Noah Syndergaard, per unnamed sources. Instead, any deal the club makes will likely center on players who can make a difference for them in 2019 as they attempt to rise from last year’s fourth-place finish in the NL East and make a run at the postseason.
The 26-year-old starter has been a fixture of the Mets’ rotation since he got his start in the majors in 2015. Despite missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a torn lat muscle in his throwing arm, he returned to pitch his third full season in 2018 with a winning 13-4 record in 25 starts, 3.03 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 154 1/3 innings and finished the year with his first complete game shutout, to boot. After receiving a $2.975 million salary in 2018, he’s slated for another three years in arbitration before entering free agency in the 2022 season.
So far this offseason, the Padres have been the only team linked to the righty, though they didn’t come close to completing a trade when they first inquired about him back at the July deadline. If the Mets are serious about dealing Syndergaard, as Rosenthal seems to suggest, they could very well look at acquiring another couple of arms to round out their rotation. Assuming Syndergaard is moved this winter, the team will enter 2019 with right-handers Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, lefties Jason Vargas and (the oft-injured) Steven Matz — and relatively little depth behind the four.