10:37pm: The Mets have recently discussed Syndergaard with no fewer than six teams, Tim Healey of Newsday reports. Unsurprisingly, though, there’s “minimal urgency” on the Mets’ part to trade Syndergaard, whom they’d need to be “wowed” to move, Healey writes.
12:19pm: The Padres have checked in recently on the availability of Mets starter Noah Syndergaard, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). The big righty was a known target of the San Diego organization over the winter, though the sides obviously failed to line up at the time.
It’s not at all clear that the two organizations have engaged in substantive trade dialogue to this point. And there are other teams also showing attention to the 26-year-old Syndergaard. It’s still far from certain at this point that the Mets will move him, let alone where.
There are some tough calls ahead for the scuffling New York org. Sitting at ten games under .500, there’s not much hope of digging out of the hole this season. But the club’s balance sheet is set up to continue the pursuit of contention in 2020. Syndergaard would have obvious value to the team then, as he’s controllable for two more seasons via arbitration.
Selling Thor likely won’t make sense for the Mets if it means settling for a return that reflects his 2019 output. Syndergaard carries only a 4.68 ERA through 105 2/3 innings. There certainly seems to be some sequencing and batted-ball misfortune mixed in — he has a slightly depressed 67.0% strand rate; Statcast credits him with a .280 xwOBA-against that’s far better than his .314 wOBA-against — but he’s also carrying career-low levels of swinging strikes (11.9%) and chases out of the zone (31.5%).
Given the levels of early interest being shown, it’s obvious that other organizations still see plenty of skill in Syndergaard’s powerful right arm. He’s still averaging over 98 mph with his fastball. His release point has wandered this year, which could reflect a concern, an attempt at an adjustment, or an area to target for correction.
The key question may ultimately be whether a team is willing to put enough talent on the line to force the Mets’ hand on the matter. For the Friars, adding Syndergaard now would significantly enhance the immediate outlook, though with a yawning gulf in the division that’d be a dubious strategy. Such a move would mostly be about his potential to anchor the rotation next season, with an extension perhaps also a possibility. The San Diego organization is laden with young talent, so there’s no shortage of conceivable pieces that could be included in a deal.