2. Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard
Without a doubt, Noah Syndergaard is the biggest wild card not only for the 2021 Mets but for their upcoming free agent class. That is the case when a former All-Star pitcher has not pitched since the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Syndergaard has been out for over a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery prior to the 2020 season. It also does not help that the last time he was seen on the mound, he was not the ace he was in years prior.
Looking back on his 2019 season, it is easily the worst of his career so far. Despite pitching a career-high 197.2 innings, Syndergaard’s 4.28 earned run average and 3.60 FIP made for a disappointing campaign.
At the same time, everyone around baseball knows the potential that Syndergaard has. Over his first four years in the majors, Syndergaard was an ace who was in line to one day be a regular in Cy Young conversation and be the starter the Mets could never let go.
So, where does that leave Syndergaard now?
Well, first things first is that Syndergaard needs to pitch in 2021. Currently, New York hopes to get “Thor” back in September, which would be a major boost to their rotation for the home stretch of the regular season. It would also give him the opportunity to prove not only his 2019 season was a fluke, but that his injury is behind him.
Again though, this is all assuming he returns. If Syndergaard never takes the mound this year, his free agency outlook dramatically changes from a long-term deal to a short-term one. In that scenario, the Mets could offer a qualifying offer to Syndergaard, giving the 28-year-old the opportunity to get that multi-year deal after getting back into form.