OCT. 11: Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will not require offseason surgery, either. Cabrera met with doctors following the Mets’ elimination from the Wild Card game for an evaluation of a knee injury that he played through for the majority of the season, and surgery was reportedly a possible outcome. Instead, he’ll take an additional two weeks of rest before beginning his offseason regime, which will be monitored by medical officials over the course of the winter to ensure that his left patellar tendon is properly healed.
Cabrera will play out the second season of a two-year, $18.5MM contract with the Mets in 2017, and the Mets also hold an affordable club option over his services for the 2018 campaign. That contract looks to be one of the offseason’s biggest bargains, in retrospect, as Cabrera batted .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs, 30 doubles and a triple over the course of the season en route to a season that both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference pegged at roughly three wins above replacement. He’ll earn $25MM over three years if that 2018 option is exercised next winter.
OCT. 10: Though it was revealed during the season that Noah Syndergaard had been diagnosed with a bone spur, he won’t require offseason surgery to correct the issue, per ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin (Twitter link). That has generally been the expectation since the news trickled out in late June.
It is certainly a good sign for the Mets that Syndergaard will enter spring camp next year after a normal winter. He ended up with only a modest increase in innings on the year. The 24-year-old ultimately tossed 190 2/3 innings after his appearance in the NLDS, but had already racked up 179 2/3 frames in 2015 (including his five Triple-A starts).
New York is no doubt hoping that the outstanding Syndergaard will not only remain in good health, but will be joined in that classification by his rotation mates. Steven Matz recently had his own, much more significant bone spur removed in a procedure recently. Jacob deGrom’s season ended early when he checked in for a surgery in which his ulnar nerve was re-positioned. And, of course, Matt Harvey is the biggest question mark of all after undergoing a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome.
Syndergaard is now the unquestioned ace of the staff after posting a 2.60 ERA with 10.7 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9. While it seems reasonable to expect Matz and deGrom to line up behind him, the remainder of the rotation is a bit uncertain. Zack Wheeler is still an option but he hasn’t thrown since 2014 and hasn’t enjoyed a straightforward return from Tommy John surgery. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo both showed well in limited outings, but haven’t yet fully established themselves in the majors. The only Mets hurler who didn’t miss a start was 43-year-old Bartolo Colon, who spun 191 2/3 innings of 3.43 ERA ball, but he’s a free agent. Given the state of affairs, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team move to keep him in the fold for a fourth-straight campaign.