Mets minor leaguer Noah Syndergaard, who ranked among the top 20 prospects in baseball coming into the season according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.
Any time a young pitcher is shut down with elbow problems that leads to thoughts of Tommy John surgery, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that for now at least the Mets are referring to the injury as “mild.” He is, however, headed to New York to be examined further by team doctors.
Syndergaard has a 4.02 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A, which is a lot more impressive than it first appears considering a) he’s one of the youngest players in the entire Pacific Coast League at age 21, and b) Las Vegas is a tremendously hitter-friendly environment to call home. He has 57 strikeouts versus 19 walks in 54 innings, which is very promising considering the context.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.