Noah Syndergaard held nothing back in talks with media prior to getting the start in a minor league spring training game in Florida on Sunday afternoon, unleashing his thoughts about the team’s workout schedule and negotiations with fellow star pitcher Jacob DeGrom.
The club will be heading to Syracuse, home of their triple-A affiliate the Syracuse Mets, for a workout later this week. Syndergaard, apparently, is strongly opposed.
“We’re going to Sarasota, and then to Syracuse, and then – you’d think we’d go to New York to get, as adults, our things and our affairs in order, but no – we’ve got to go to Syracuse first,” he told The Athletic’s Tim Britton.
“I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s not a smart one. I 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.”
Syndergaard added that others on the team share his sentiment, and tried to voice their concerns, but it “[didn’t] really do much.” He said he could use the extra time in New York City to set up his apartments and get adjusted to playing night games, rather than waking up early, as is the case in spring training.
“From all the information and data and all the meetings we’ve had – we’ve had sleep meetings, meetings to teach us how to properly take care of ourselves – I don’t think that’s the way to go. I don’t think that’s what championship teams do prior to the season.”
‘Quit all this fuss’: Syndergaard’s gripes extend beyond his training schedule
Naturally, once it was clear Syndergaard was ready to open up on the front office’s wrongdoings, an obvious question arose: what does he make of the team’s lack of an extension thus far for Jacob DeGrom, whose contract ends in two years?
“I’m just going to sit back and let it all unfold how it is. 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 reah free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just they should quit all this fuss and pay the man already.”
Given the recent extensions signed by other players of DeGrom’s caliber, Syndergaard added, the time seems right.
“It there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, I don’t know what the circumstances would be,” Syndergaard said. “But you can see Chris Sale, [Justin] Verlander, those guys getting extensions. I think it’s time Jacob gets one, too.”
Over the winter, DeGrom received the largest arbitration raise in MLB history by agreeing to a $17 million deal for 2019, and is the reigning Cy Young winner. Boston Red Sox and Sale agreed to a five-year, $145 million extension, and Justin Verlander signed a two-year, $66 million agreement with the Houston Astros – DeGrom is a relative bargain in comparison.
Syndergaard added: “He’s really good. He’s a great teammate. I don’t get it.”
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