Pitcher Noah Syndergaard fired a shot at the New York Mets front office Sunday, expressing frustration that teammate Jacob deGrom hasn’t been signed to a contract extension and that the team has an unconventional travel schedule prior to Opening Day.
The Mets and deGrom, who won the 2018 National League Cy Young Award, talked in the offseason, but deGrom told reporters Saturday he wasn’t confident of an agreement in the next few days.
The Mets and deGrom agreed to a one-year, $17 million contract rather than go to arbitration in January. He is eligible to become a free agent in 2021, and Syndergaard said he doesn’t want it to reach that point.
“Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want to keep him happy, so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all this fuss and pay the man already,” Syndergaard told reporters.
This weekend, the Boston Red Sox and ace Chris Sale agreed to a five-year, $145 million extension, and the Houston Astros reached a two-year, $66 million deal with former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
“If there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, I don’t know what the circumstance would be. But you can see Chris Sale, Verlander, those guys getting extensions. I think it’s time Jacob gets one, too,” Syndergaard said.
The right-hander also said he didn’t understand the reasoning behind the Mets not returning to the Big Apple before their season opener Thursday. Instead, the team will leave Sarasota, Fla., and travel to Syracuse, N.Y., before heading to Washington, D.C., for the opener with the Nationals.
“I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s not a smart one,” Syndergaard said. “I don’t think that’s conducive for winning ballgames, really — that much travel. I mean, I’m sure the amenities in Syracuse aren’t the best for a Major League Baseball team to go up there and have one last workout before the regular season starts, but those kinds of decisions are above my pay grade.”
—Field Level Media