3) The Mets need to avoid Noah Syndergaard
Mighty Thor has lost his hammer.
Noah Syndergaard is a completely different pitcher than he used to be. The tall, confident righty who used to throw gas has devolved into a sinkerballer after his Tommy John surgery. He’s lost about four miles per hour on his average fastball, down from about 98 to about 94. That’s in the 55th percentile on Baseball Savant, a stark drop from where he used to be.
The issue with the drop in velocity is the lack of sharpness with his stuff. His spin rates and the break on his pitches are all down, and he has a hard time striking guys out because of that. From 2015 to 2019, Thor averaged 9.7 K/9, and that included two seasons with more than 200 punchouts (218 in 2016 and 202 in 2019). This year, his K/9 plunged to 6.3 and his strikeout rate was in the 12th percentile.
Syndergaard was okay in 2022, making 25 starts and pitching 134.2 innings. He allowed 138 hits, 59 earned runs, 31 walks, and struck out 95 batters. His ERA was 3.94, his FIP was 3.83, his WHIP was 1.32, and his ERA+ was 99, just one tick below average.
Whichever team winds up bidding for Syndergaard’s services is taking a risk. There’s a chance they could unlock the old Syndergaard by making the changes in the thread above, which means teams like the Astros and Dodgers will be interested. But there’s no guarantee that that’s possible or will work out. You might wind up with a back of the rotation starter or long reliever who just eats innings. The Mets don’t need to take the chance.