New York Mets

Mets must treat Noah Syndergaard like the most valuable pitcher on the market

It makes perfect sense for the Mets to field offers for Noah Syndergaard, but they can’t afford to sell him for anything less than a fortune.

It’s easy to understand why the Mets would be tempted to deal Noah Syndergaard. The roster desperately needs a significant infusion of talent if the team wants to become legitimate playoff contenders in the near future. Even so, the front office needs to be very careful with how they treat their 26-year-old ace.

Syndergaard is arguably the most valuable asset in the Mets organization. Jacob deGrom deservedly won the National League Cy Young Award this season, but he’s already 30 years old. His performance should decline sometime in the next few years. In sharp contrast, Syndergaard could have almost a decade of peak performance left in his electric arm.

That’s precisely why the Mets need to demand a massive haul if they’re going to let Syndergaard leave Queens. They must treat him like he’s the most valuable pitcher that could potentially be moved this winter. The Mets should ask for a higher return for Syndergaard than the Indians will demand for Corey Kluber.

The Mets should open the bidding for Syndergaard at the price of two premium prospects plus a young, established major leaguer. That asking price will understandably cause a lot of teams to look elsewhere. That’s a satisfactory result for the Mets, too. Keeping Syndergaard as the ace of their rotation for the future isn’t a bad plan. The only way Jeff Wilpon and company should move Syndergaard is if another team gets desperate and makes them a godfather offer.

Unfortunately for Mets fans looking to accelerate their favorite team’s rebuild, the quantity of starters available via trade this winter likely means Syndergaard is going to stay put. Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, James Paxton, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke are all reportedly available for the right price. The sheer number of top-end starters on the trade market will make it difficult for the Mets to solicit a silly offer for Syndergaard.

The smart move for the Mets front office will be to hold on to Syndergaard for at least a few more months. The best time to deal him might be at this year’s trade deadline. It’s easy to envision a contender viewing Syndergaard as the final piece necessary to win a World Series title.

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Fortunately, the Mets seem to understand the sort of asset they have on their hands. Wilpon already claims it will take a “lopsided” offer to tempt the team into making a deal. Mets fans should expect to see Syndergaard pitching in Shea Stadium when the 2019 season begins.

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