Noah Syndergaard was openly critical Sunday of the status of teammate Jacob deGrom’s contract talks with the New York Mets and the team’s travel schedule before Opening Day on Thursday.
The Mets and deGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, have been discussing a contract extension, but on Saturday deGrom said he was becoming less optimistic a deal could be reached by Opening Day. DeGrom is under club control this season and 2020 and is scheduled to become a free agent in ’21.
On Sunday, Syndergaard wondered publicly what the holdup is, with other ace pitchers such as Justin Verlander and Chris Sale signing extensions in recent days.
“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 Sunday.
He said he was surprised a deal hasn’t yet been struck between deGrom and the team.
“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 also questioned the Mets’ travel itinerary before Opening Day with no plans to stop in New York before Thursday’s opener in Washington against the Nationals. The team will travel by bus for nearly three hours to Sarasota, Florida, on Sunday night and then fly to Syracuse, New York, for a workout before later heading to Washington.
“I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s not a smart one,” he 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.”
Syndergaard said he has never been to Syracuse and wasn’t looking forward to the trip.
“Not even the slightest bit,” he said.