The New York Mets would make a terrible mistake if they decide to trade Noah Syndergaard.
With a new GM regime manning the New York Mets, the team is looking to turn a corner in their franchise. After a disappointing 77-85 season, the Riccardi-Ricco-Minaya experiment has come to a close and with Sandy Alderson moving out, former agent Brodie Van Wagenen is left with the pieces to contend in 2019 and beyond.
With the recent trade with the Seattle Mariners complete, Van Wagenen has proven early on that he is not afraid to make a large, unpopular move.
Perhaps the most intriguing name that has come up in trade talks is 26-year-old flamethrower Noah Syndergaard. The prize of the 2012 Dickey trade, the 2016 All-Star posted a 3.03 ERA in 154.1 innings this season. Despite missing roughly half his starts over the last two seasons, Syndergaard finally appears fully healthy and a pitching rotation anchored by Syndergaard, 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and right-hander Zack Wheeler is enough to contend on any roster.
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The Mets roster finally has the young pieces to contend with the emergence of Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo and while they are scarce behind the dish and in the bullpen, a productive offseason can turn them into contenders.
Syndergaard has drawn interest from about half a dozen teams (specifically the Cardinals and Padres). While the Mets should be all ears and listen to offers, they should sell high and refuse to deal him if their asking price is not met.
In recent history, the Mets have received little back in trades (Jay Bruce to Cleveland, Neil Walker to Milwaukee, Jeurys Familia to Oakland) and with a highly-coveted started under team control, the organization should not settle for low-level prospects.
Syndergaard has long been tied to the San Diego Padres as a possible trade destination. It has been stated that San Diego would be unwilling to part with their upper-tier prospects catcher Austin Hedges and infielder Fernando Tatis Jr. If compelled to trade Thor, the asking price should consist of multiple high-level hitting prospects (specifically at catcher and a corner infield position), as well as major league bullpen help.
Syndergaard is projected to earn just under $6 million and is under team control until the conclusion of the 2020 season.
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If the Mets trade Syndergaard, this would likely signal the beginning of a rebuild for the franchise and with a team with a history of trading their prized pitching, I would hate to see history repeat itself.