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.
First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.
Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.