Checking in on Noah Syndergaard is like stalking the Facebook page of your ex’s new beau. Syndergaard hasn’t really changed his hairstyle since leaving the New York Mets. He hasn’t put on weight other than a little bit of pudge around his ERA so there is no real victory to celebrate.
Syndergaard remains with the Los Angeles Angels right now, watching on as two of the generation’s greatest talents struggle to earn victories for the team. The Angels have gone from trade deadline buyer to seller and Thor could be the best they deal away.
Signed to just a one-year deal, it’s expected that Syndergaard gets traded. His destination remains unknown but a trip back to the National League East seems like it could happen.
Why Noah Syndergaard could make sense for the 2 biggest Mets rivals at the trade deadline
It’s the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies that could use a lightning bolt added to their rotations. The Braves have some holes in their rotation and questions about the health of Mike Soroka who has yet to pitch this season. Ian Anderson hasn’t been good and Charlie Morton only recently began to show signs of competency on the mound.
Over in Philadelphia, they are a two-man band of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Their other starters are either hurt right now or continue to underperform. Regardless of whether or not they can keep their guys healthy, they clearly need a number three starter they can trust. Is Syndergaard an answer for them?
What makes Syndergaard an intriguing option is that the Angels can’t necessarily sell him at a high point. He has been good but not great. Through 13 starts, Syndergaard is 5-7 with a 3.84 ERA and a strikeout rate of 7 per 9 innings. Mets fans will find that last part hard to believe. Even when he wasn’t excelling in other areas, strikeouts were easy to come by.
Because this also happens to be a year of rehabbing his way back into full-time action, it might not be so outrageous for teams to even consider him for a bullpen role later in the year. He’d be an expensive reliever without much experience in the role. But if a team needs some rotation depth for a few weeks, maybe a switch to the bullpen could get him firing better.
It’s already possible that teams looking to land Syndergaard may be able to get away without paying the remainder of his salary. The $21 million he is owed this year will be more than half over but that’s still a large chunk of change for the final two months. Taking on his full contract, however, might offset the price in terms of prospects. It’s really up to the teams that want him to find the easiest way to get him without having to give up too much.
One thing we do know, the Mets aren’t a match. Thoughts of them needing to go out and land a starting pitcher are just not there any longer. Max Scherzer is back. Soon, Jacob deGrom will join him. They have enough depth and other areas to improve upon. Plus, if the Mets are going to add a starting pitcher, one would have to think they would do it for a major upgrade or a guy with minor league options/more bullpen experience.
Syndergaard isn’t afraid of the spotlight and that will work to his benefit in landing with a new team. By now, he has shown he is healthy. Will things end sadly on an out-of-contention Angels club or will we soon have pictures of Syndergaard in yet another non-Mets uniform?
Maybe he ends up back with the Toronto Blue Jays. They could, after all, use a fresh face and arm for their rotation.