Why the Mets are likely to retain Noah Syndergaard
It’s been a long road back for Syndergaard after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After having the surgery back in March 2020, Syndergaard has suffered multiple setbacks on his road to recovery, which has affected the Mets pitching staff the past couple of seasons as well as his chances for a large payday.
Given that the Mets were out of the postseason hunt by the time Syndergaard was ready to return, it was a surprise that the team let him play at all. However, seeing Syndergaard for the two brief appearances accomplished a couple of functions: For one, it allowed Syndergaard to show the team that he is healthy and that he still has his stuff. For two, it offered Mets fans a reason to attend two games late in the season when the season was already lost.
Unlike Conforto, who had a bad year, Syndergaard did not pitch enough for him to be evaluated as a healthy pitcher heading into next season. Two innings is way too small a sample size for teams to get an accurate measure of how Syndergaard will perform going forward. As a result, Syndergaard’s free agency situation is going to be more straightforward: He will most likely need to get a one-year “prove it” deal, and then enter free agency again once the 2022 season concludes.
The main reason the Mets should bring Syndergaard back is for reasons that teams often cite with prospects: The potential is there. When he was healthy, Syndergaard settled in as an above-average pitcher who could help the Mets win games. Now that he is healthy, it should be expected that the Mets would want to see what he can offer the organization since they sunk a huge investment into his recovery.
Bringing Syndergaard back would be mutually beneficial for both the team and the player. The Mets would be getting Syndergaard at a reduced rate, and Syndergaard gets the chance to re-establish his worth.