4:25 pm: The Padres have “not shown much desire” to move Urias in any deal, per The Athletic’s Dennis Lin.
2:56 pm: The Mets, who currently sit in no-man’s land in a stacked-up NL Wild Card picture, are “exploring” a number of trade scenarios, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, one of which includes sending righty Noah Syndergaard to the Padres and using a portion of the loot to pursue Toronto’s Marcus Stroman.
It’s a bizarre scenario for New York, which still boasts a respectable blue-chip group after shipping top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to Seattle in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade. A further depletion of the team’s farm, given its current trajectory, would obviously be unsound, but swapping Syndergaard for Stroman with a marginal gain in prospect capital wouldn’t seem to make much sense either. Stroman, of course, is under control (through 2020) for a season fewer than is Thor, and, despite a recent output that would suggest otherwise, isn’t on level with the 26-year-old ace, whose 2.85 FIP is tied for 6th best among all MLB hurlers since his debut in 2015.
Simply dangling Syndergaard for the choicest return – one that’d almost surely include an MLB-ready piece the club could plug right in to its 25-man – would be the blueprint for most teams, especially ones whose near-term designs on contending had gone awry. Perhaps the club would intend to flip Stroman after the season ends, or even extend him, but his value’s near-zenith at current and an offseason trade wouldn’t figure to net a return commensurate with the departing package this July.
It’s certainly true that the Padres have an embarrassment of riches with which to play, and the headlining piece in the swap with New York – Luis Patiño, perhaps, or the polarizing Luis Urias (9th overall, per Baseball Prospectus, though has struggled big-time in a brief MLB sample thus far) – could anchor the club’s lineup or rotation for years to come, though there isn’t a clear-cut available superstar in the bunch (assuming that lefty MacKenzie Gore is off the table). New York would be selling low on a controllable hurler who’s a decent bet to return to ace form, and swapping him to a team who doesn’t necessarily possess the MLB-ready stud the team seems to covet.
For the Padres, the buy-low opportunity may be too much to pass up, even though the team’s position in the playoff picture – currently 7 GB of the second Wild Card spot – wouldn’t align with a big-fish hook. Assuming the Mets require the full ticket price on Syndergaard, San Diego will be paying a premium for two additional months of the hurler, time in which the club will likely be focused primarily on player development. Still, it may be now-or-never for the Pads, who likely wouldn’t have a chance to acquire Thor if he’s shipped to a team with its eyes on long-term prizes.