10:35pm: It isn’t definite the Mets will trade Syndergaard, per reports from Anthony DiComo of MLB.com and Anthony Rieber of Newsday, though Rieber adds the club’s “working hard” to move him. The Astros are “pessimistic” about their chances of acquiring Syndergaard, DiComo writes. Meanwhile, it “doesn’t sound like” the Mets and Twins have made headway toward a deal, Martino tweets.
3:58pm: Mets righty Noah Syndergaard has emerged as the perhaps the most talked-about name on the trade market, and his name once again figures to dominate headlines — much as it did in the offseason. Meanwhile, scouts will be watching closely as fellow starter Zack Wheeler takes the hill tonight for his lone pre-deadline showcase start. Here’s the latest on both hurlers …
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are seeking an MLB-ready starter who can step right into the rotation in place of Syndergaard, then some additional high-end prospects after that. The pitcher in question needn’t technically be the headliner in the deal, but presumably the Mets are eyeing a controllable (pre-arbitration) starter as well as premier minor leaguers beyond that point.
That aligns with recent reports from SNY’s Andy Martino (Twitter links), who suggests that the Mets view the Padres, Braves, Dodgers, Rays and Yankees as the best on-paper fits in a deal. The Padres and Braves, in particular, are rich with MLB-ready pitchers in the upper minors, and Sherman lists that pair of organizations as the two that the Mets feel are best-positioned to work out a deal.
Notably, Sherman calls the Astros the “most aggressive” pursuer of Syndergaard, but Houston has seen its top pitching prospects take a step back in 2019. Forrest Whitley (shoulder fatigue) has barely pitched in 2019. Corbin Martin underwent Tommy John surgery. Martino suggests that neither the Astros nor Twins are viewed as prime trade partners — likely because other interested parties have better MLB-ready arms to offer. It was reported this morning that the Twins and Mets have discussed Syndergaard, with the Mets showing particular interest in shortstop Royce Lewis and outfielder Alex Kirilloff.
Looking at the teams the Mets apparently believe to be fits, it’s a bit of an eyebrow-raiser to see the Yankees and Braves listed. The Yankees and Mets haven’t lined up on a trade in more than a decade, and the frequent reports out of New York portraying the contempt that Mets owner Fred Wilpon has toward the Yankees make a deal of this nature seem decidedly unlikely. Meanwhile, trading Syndergaard to a division rival would be difficult for Mets fans to stomach, particularly given that he’s controlled through the 2021 season.
Whether the Houston organization can put together a compelling package for Syndergaard, they’ll have other things to talk about with the Mets front office. The ’Stros are “one of many” teams that have interest in Wheeler, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). Martino tweets that the Yankees also remain interested in Wheeler and will be watching intently this evening.