Mets Extension Candidate Noah Syndergaard: Is Thor sticking around?
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard is a candidate for an extension. Will Thor get a deal to keep him in Flushing?
Plenty can happen between now and the 2022 MLB season when New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard could potentially have a new logo across his chest. The flamethrowing righty has been one of the longest-tenured core members of this franchise, previously viewed as the ace of the team.
Although Syndergaard is no longer an ace thanks to Jacob deGrom’s growth into the best pitcher in the league, he’s still a valuable piece to this team’s success. When he’s at his best, Syndergaard taps into the type of talent most pitchers wish they could have for even a single inning. He throws hard, opting to blow his opponent away rather than fool them.
Syndergaard has been a candidate for a contract extension for quite some time. His fast start with the Mets back in 2015 made him a guy worth an early buyout of the arbitration years and maybe even a free agent season.
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This isn’t something the Mets typically do, however. Now two seasons away from free agency, it’s time to get serious about whether or not Syndergaard is a part of this team’s future.
The Mets already have a fortunate wrapped up in deGrom, but it’s not as if he’s other dollar and cents will remain on the payroll by the time Syndergaard is free to leave.
Most of baseball’s best teams have at least a pair of $15+ million pitchers. Some are paying a pair of guys $20+ or even $30+ million!
By the time Syndergaard reaches free agency, players of his current caliber would probably be worth $20-25 per season. I’m assuming the rate will only go up slightly from where it is right now.
Of course, the biggest factor for Thor is how he performs this year and next. Two phenomenal years would put Syndergaard much closer to Gerrit Cole’s salary numbers than what Zack Wheeler got this past offseason. It’s a gamble for both the player and the team to sign an early extension. Pitchers are always one serious injury away from missing a year and a half.
A few events directly correlate with Syndergaard’s future in Flushing. For one, the potential ownership change. I don’t foresee the Wilpons extending anyone while they are in charge. Our only hope of possibly seeing Syndergaard stay is a new deal after he reaches the open market.
Yet another factor is which players the Mets believe in. Marcus Stroman is a free agent after 2020 and re-signing him may prevent them from giving money to Syndergaard. It shouldn’t, but it might.
Most vital of all, I see the Mets making a decision between Syndergaard and Michael Conforto. Both reach free agency in the same winter.
The Washington Nationals had a similar situation with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. One year before Harper was set for free agency, the Nationals extended Strasburg. It seemed as if they chose Strasburg over Harper although this may not have necessarily been the case.
The Nationals’ situation is slightly different because Strasburg became a free agent first. Syndergaard and Conforto will reach it together. And when they do, I think this franchise will only retain one of them. A lot will depend on the development of other players and whether or not pitching or an outfielder is more valuable to them.
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The current Mets regime may already have an idea of what they want to do with Syndergaard. There is no urgency to extend him just yet, but the longer the front office waits the higher he can price himself. If they end up losing Syndergaard and Conforto after 2021, it’s going to be a tough pill for loyal fans to swallow.