The New York Mets may not be motivated to move Noah Syndergaard, but it appears he’s back on the radar of contending teams as the trade deadline nears.
While the New York Mets may be fighting the idea of being a trade deadline seller, a 40-50 record (the second-worst record in the National League), begs to differ.
To that end Jon Morosi of MLB.com has reported Noah Syndergaard is garnering interest from teams in need of starting pitching, with the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros specifically mentioned.
Syndergaard is in the midst of a down year. He has a 4.68 ERA at the All-Star break, with career-worsts in K/9 (8.6). BB/9 (2.6), FIP (3.98), xFIP (4.22) and swinging strike rate (11.9 percent). He also landed on the IL with a hamstring injury, but only missed one start.
Syndergaard is making a very reasonable $6 million this season. But unlike teammate and fellow trade candidate Zach Wheeler, who is in the final year of his contract, he has two years of team control left. That will drive up the asking price for the Mets, as they lean on his track record as well (2.93 ERA, 9.9 K/9 over 518.1 innings entering this year).
Syndergaard’s average fastball velocity is over 98 MPH right now, so that’s not the issue. Opposing hitters are swinging at less pitches outside the strike zone (31.5 percent; 36.5 percent in 2018) so far this year though, while making contact on those pitches far more often (65.3 percent this year; 55.4 percent in 2018). Couple those rates with a Mets’ defense that’s among the worst in baseball, and that’s a recipe for some struggles as well as the bit of bad fortune reflected by the separation between his ERA and FIP.
It will surely take a significant offer for the Mets to trade Syndergaard before the deadline. But for contending teams with an eye on a deep run in October, and an eye on keeping a potential staff ace who’s only approaching 27 years old in the fold long-term, that price should be well worth paying.