Mets reportedly 'seriously considering' Noah Syndergaard trade; will they pull off a deal?
A report indicates 'at least' six teams are in talks for Thor
The annual MLB winter meetings take place in Las Vegas this year beginning Dec. 10, and between now and then it feels pretty unlikely we're going to see lots of movement in terms of trades or free agency signings. Foundational work is being done instead and otherwise it's just a bunch of rumors. Like this!
As usual, it could be true both that A) The Mets are talking with six teams about what a possible Noah Syndergaard trade might look like and B) The Mets have zero inclination to actually go through with a Syndergaard trade.
Buzzwords like "seriously" and "real players" make it seem like Syndergaard could actually be traded, so we'll take a look.
What feels like the most important thing to remember here is that most reportage from out of Queens was that Brodie Van Wagenen got the general manager job in part because he agreed to not rebuild. Rumors surfaced that former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told the Wilpons during his interview process he wanted to rebuild and that was the end of the interview.
With this in mind, any Syndergaard trade is most likely one that improves the major league roster. The Mets could use help at catcher and in the bullpen. If they are dealing Syndergaard, getting a starter back could be on the table as well. Upgrades are available at several positions (namely right field, until Yoenis Cespedes proves healthy, and third base), too.
On the Syndergaard end, he's hitting his first season of arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $5.9 million this coming season and he won't hit free agency until after the 2021 season.
His upside is off the charts. At his best, it could be argued that Syndergaard has the best raw stuff of all time. He can sit 100-101 with his fastball, around 100 with his sinker and 93 with his slider. Yes, a 93-mph slider from a starting pitcher. We saw the best version of "Thor" in his first four starts of 2017. He had a 1.73 ERA with 30 strikeouts and zero walks in 26 innings.
For his career, Syndergaard is 37-22 with a 2.93 ERA (132 ERA+), 1.13 WHIP and 573 strikeouts in 518 1/3 innings. Last year, he was 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 154 1/3 innings.
The downside with Syndergaard is the health. He made 30 starts in 2016, just seven in 2017 and 25 last year. With someone who throws so hard, the injury risk certainly seems higher.
Also, his strikeouts per nine innings rate was 10.3 prior to 2018 and dropped to 9.0 this past season. His velocity was slightly down to 98 on the fastball and sinker and 92.5 on the slider. I don't think this is a red flag necessarily, but it's worth mention.
The bottom line is that Syndergaard has great value and upside but also carries lots of risk.
All of this is probably the long way of saying I don't think Syndergaard will be traded. There's a certain point that the team with the player in question -- assuming it wants to contend instead of getting a prospect package in return -- feels it's not getting enough in return while every team in trade discussions would feel like too much is being asked. This is all speculative and I could be wrong, obviously, but my hunch is whatever the Mets want in return, no one is going to give; unless they elect to rebuild, in which case all bets are off.
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