Wally Backman, who is the manager of the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, told fans last week at he Queens Baseball Convention that he considers Steven Matz the team's top pitching prospect. According to reports, Backman said Syndergaard "has the stuff to win a Cy Young," but his "command is an issue and he's slow from the stretch, but he has the stuff."
Some rival scouts and executives have also expressed concerns about Syndergaard by saying his fastball lacks movement and he projects as a power reliever.
However, not everyone seems to share the same opinion about Syndergaard, who is coming off a down season at Triple-A Las Vegas. He went 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 26 starts last season.
"He's still young and has aptitude and work ethic," one scout said. "Because his numbers weren't great in the (Pacific Coast League) at altitude, people want to come off him some. But I think he has a chance to be a No. 2 and at worst a good No. 3."
A three-team trade involving the
The talks unfolded with the Nationals trading Desmond to the Rays for Zobrist and
Unfortunately, the Mets chose not to pursue the deal after the Rays requested two top prospects from a list of three, which New York considered too much for Desmond, who will be a free agent after the 2015 season. The Rays' list included Mets top pitching prospect
The Mets were also engaged with the Rays in a trade for Zobrist, but once again the Rays wanted two top prospects and the Mets did not want to make that deal. Zobrist will also be a free agent after the 2015 season.
The pitching-rich Mets are dangling the 22-year-old Syndergaard, who struggled at the Triple-A level in 2014 with a 4.60 ERA and career-worst 1.48 WHIP. Syndergaard has fanned 474 in just 426 2/3 innings.
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