SARASOTA, Fla. — At least one Mets player privately applauded Noah Syndergaard for “taking one for the team” with his recent comments about the club’s upcoming visit to Syracuse, but publicly players used measured tones Monday to address the subject, hoping to avoid further controversy.
“Obviously we would like to go straight to D.C. and get things going,” Michael Conforto said, referring to Thursday’s season-opener in Washington. “But this year the circumstance is different, the [Triple-A] team is moving to Syracuse and it’s something we have got to do along the way.”
The Mets, who played their Grapefruit League finale on Monday against the Orioles after bussing three hours across Florida the previous night, are scheduled to hold a workout at the Carrier Dome on Syracuse University’s campus — if the team can get there on time following a multi-hour delay — before flying Tuesday afternoon to Washington. The trip to Syracuse will prevent manager Mickey Callaway from holding a mandatory workout Wednesday in Washington — the 12-2 p.m. session will instead be voluntary.
Syndergaard on Sunday ripped team brass for the decision to hold the workout in Syracuse. The pitcher also questioned why teammate Jacob deGrom hasn’t yet received a contract extension as Thursday’s negotiating deadline approaches.
Jeff McNeil is among those who sees both sides of the equation in the visit to Syracuse.
“I think Noah said, it’s kind of tough to head up there,” McNeil said. “But it’s good for all the Mets fans and it’s going to promote the team as well. We’re going to go up there and do the workout and go to D.C. and be ready.”
Conforto was asked if he agrees with Syndergaard’s assessment that deGrom, who is under club control through 2020, should have locked up a new contract already.
“Noah again showing his honesty,” Conforto said. “Obviously they are very close friends and he wants [deGrom] to get what he’s earned and I think we all feel the same way. We all have his back.”
Syndergaard, who was sporting a big winter coat in the clubhouse after Monday’s game, declined comment.
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