A mere five days ago it was reported that the Mets were “motivated” to trade starter Noah Syndergaard. That was either wrong or the plans have changed, because today general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said that the team is unlikely to trade Syndergaard as the “chips are in” to win now.
That this was said at the press conference announcing the Robinson Cano trade makes a lot of sense because it was not clear how you could acquire Cano without it being aimed at contending in 2019 and it is unclear how the Mets could contend in 2019 without Syndergaard. Either way, this should make Mets fans feel better.
Syndergaard, under team control for three more years, went 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 155/39 in 154.1 innings in 2018.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.