PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard tuned up for the regular season with a couple fastballs — at his own organization.
Syndergaard questioned the Mets’ treatment of ace Jacob deGrom and the organization’s upcoming travel plans after he made his final appearance of spring training on Sunday.
The 30-year-old deGrom is hoping for a new contract before opening day after he won the NL Cy Young Award last season. But he sounded pessimistic about the possibility after he worked three perfect innings in his final spring outing on Saturday.
“I think Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now,” Syndergaard said. “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 think they should just quit all this fuss and pay the man already.”
DeGrom went 10-9 with a sparkling 1.70 ERA in 32 starts last year. Aces Chris Sale and Justin Verlander and sluggers Mike Trout and Paul Goldschmidt recently finalized new contracts.
Syndergaard, 26, said failing to do the same with deGrom could send a message.
“I think so, yes, because of what you see going on in baseball right now,” he said. “I feel like if there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, I don’t know what the circumstance would be.
“You see those guys getting extensions, I think it’s time Jacob gets one, too. He’s really good, a great teammate. I don’t get it.”
New York’s travel plans also had Syndergaard’s attention.
The Mets left Florida’s East Coast after Sunday’s 8-4 win over Washington for Sarasota — a three-hour bus ride over to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mets close out the Grapefruit League on Monday against Baltimore and then fly to Syracuse for a Tuesday workout at the home of their new Triple-A affiliate. Then it’s back on a plane to Washington for Thursday’s season opener.
“You’d think we’d go to New York to get like — as adults — our things, our affairs in order, but nah, we’ve got to go to Syracuse first,” Syndergaard said. “I don’t know whose idea that was, but it’s not a smart one.
“I don’t think that’s conducive toward winning ballgames. That much travel ... but those kinds of decisions are above my paygrade.”
Syndergaard, who finished his spring training with a short outing on a backfield against a Miami Marlins minor league squad, said his teammates had discussed the itinerary and feel the same way.
“Absolutely,” the tall right-hander said, adding that the players voiced their opinion. “We tried, but it doesn’t really do much.”
Syndergaard, who said he has never been to Syracuse, had a straightforward answer when asked if he was looking forward to visiting the city: “Not even the slightest bit.”
With all the meetings, information and data the club has presented to the players on proper sleep, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, Syndergaard said traveling to Syracuse for a workout didn’t seem like the right approach.
“I don’t think that’s the way to go. I don’t think that’s what championship teams do prior to the season,” he said.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway disagreed with Syndergaard, who will start the season’s second game in DC on Saturday.
“I’ve already talked to him about it before,” Callaway said. “He’s going to get mad when I take him out of a game because he’s a competitor. He’s a routine-oriented guy.
“I think going to Syracuse is good for the fans. It’s a new affiliate and something that doesn’t happen often. We’re excited that it’s New York and it’s our fans.”
NOTES: Callaway said final roster decisions in the bullpen and at catcher would be made on Wednesday. ... C Travis d’Arnaud will stay in Port St. Lucie and catch in minor league games in the hopes of being ready for the Nationals on Thursday. ... C Wilson Ramos left the game against Washington in the third inning after taking a pitch off his right hand in between the pinky and ring finger. X-rays were negative. . Recently demoted RHP Tim Peterson, a strong consideration for the Mets’ bullpen, was back at his old locker on Sunday morning and started against the split-squad Nationals. Peterson, 28, worked two scoreless innings and could still be an option for the final roster, Callaway said.