Even with medical facilities reeling from the coronavirus, there are still Tommy John surgeries taking place. Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale and Mets righty Noah Syndergaard have undergone the procedure in the past few days. However, famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who’s known for performing the operation, has put a stop to it for the time being, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe relays. The Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is located in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis – as Speier writes – issued an executive order prohibiting “any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient’s immediate health, safety or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.” Syndergaard underwent TJS in the state last week, though he was not an Andrews patient.
- It’s hard to believe, but Syndergaard could end up as a non-tender candidate next winter, as Buster Olney of ESPN observes. Syndergaard should be in line to make around $9.7MM next season (the same salary he’s slated for in 2020), but he’s going to miss a large portion of 2021 and, as Olney explains, teams may be in cost-cutting mode with revenues sure to decline because of the coronavirus. Those realities could lead to a non-tender or a trade for Syndergaard, so it’s possible he has already thrown his last pitch as a Met. Whether or not Syndergaard becomes a non-tender victim, one executive told Olney that there will likely be an increase in such cases next offseason. “I think you’ll see more non-tenders,” the exec said. “The guys with four-plus or five-plus [years of] service time.”
- Astros ace and reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander seems to be making progress in his recovery from the right groin surgery he underwent on March 17. General manager James Click told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com: “The last I heard, everything’s going great and he’s ready to get back out there as soon as he possibly can. I haven’t heard anything bad. As far as I know, he’s right on schedule and he’s recovering very well.” That’s reassuring for the Astros, who – if there is a season – will count on Verlander and Zack Greinke to carry a rotation that lost Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley in free agency.
- The Yankees aren’t known for doling out contract extensions, but if they’re going to lock up one of their own for the long haul, shortstop Gleyber Torres is a logical candidate. The 23-year-old enjoyed an especially impressive campaign in 2019, and he’s now entering his final season of pre-arbitration. That said, the Yankees are unlikely to try to extend Torres until they see how he fares as a full-time shortstop, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. While Torres has mostly played second base since his career began in 2018, he spent the majority of last season at short because now-Phillie Didi Gregorius sat out for a couple months while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Torres didn’t garner awful grades there, for what it’s worth, finishing with minus-1 Defensive Runs Saved, a minus-2.1 Ultimate Zone Rating and minus-3 Outs Above Average. Regardless of how adept Torres is in the field, it seems he’s someone the Yankees should want around at set prices for the foreseeable future. Even if that’s the case, though, there’s a leaguewide freeze on extension talks at the moment.