Report: Tommy Milone has asked the Athletics to trade him

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Tommy Milone was bumped to the minors after the Athletics acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel earlier this month and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the left-hander has asked for a trade.

Milone was hardly deserving of a demotion, posting a 3.55 ERA over 16 starts at the major league level this season. The 27-year-old southpaw was 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA over his last 11 outings prior to being sent down to Triple-A. So this was a case of the numbers game, not anything shady. While Milone understandably believes that he should be pitching in a major league rotation right now, the Athletics don’t appear likely to give him his wish.

The Athletics have received trade inquiries on Milone, but the team is not eager to move him, knowing he might be needed due to injury or ineffectiveness, sources say.

Milone’s current predicament has ramifications beyond the obvious. He would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason had he remained in the majors all year, but his time in the minors will push that back. It’s a frustrating situation for him, but baseball is a business and you can’t blame the Athletics for building depth. They have already lost two starters, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, to Tommy John surgery this season.

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.