Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has suggested he’s inclined to keep right-hander Noah Syndergaard, but some teams believe they’d “absolutely” deal him “for the right offer,” Buster Olney of ESPN writes (subscription required). The Syndergaard situation has been among the most interesting storylines of the young offseason, and it appears it’ll remain that way with the aggressive Van Wagenen set for his first Winter Meetings atop the Mets. With three arbitration-eligible seasons remaining, Syndergaard is one of the most valuable players in the game, which has led to heavy interest in the 26-year-old this winter but could also influence New York to go forward with him.
Here’s more from Olney:
- The Dodgers look to be a driving force in the outfield market, Olney observes on Twitter. Not only could the Dodgers trade any of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp or Joc Pederson and pursue Bryce Harper, Olney notes, but he also connects them to free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock. Needless to say, of Puig, Kemp and Pederson, the latter would warrant the highest return in a trade. The soon-to-be 27-year-old Pederson’s coming off the most effective season of the trio and is the only one controllable beyond 2019. Further, he’s projected to earn an eminently reasonable $4.7MM next year, his penultimate season of arbitration eligibility.
- The Dodgers are also “all in” on the catcher market, as are the Astros and Mets, Olney reports. Any of those teams could find its answer with Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli, for whom the Pirates are willing to consider offers, according to Olney. Cervelli is coming off an impressive 2018, but as a soon-to-be 33-year-old who’s expensive ($11.5MM), down to his last season of team control and has a startling history of concussions, the low-budget Pirates may be willing to go in another direction.
- Back to the Astros, who didn’t earnestly pursue righty Nathan Eovaldi in free agency, Olney relays. The two sides were a match on paper, Olney points out, as Eovaldi’s a Houston native and the Astros are seeking starting help. Eovaldi re-signed with the Red Sox this week on a four-year, $68MM deal, though, and the Astros continue to need a starter. There’s “one industry theory” that the Astros are more focused on upgrading via trade, which could point them to Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer or Zack Greinke, Olney notes.
- After the season, when Olney reported the Indians planned to consider offers for their front-line starters (Kluber, Bauer and Carlos Carrasco), the Tribe didn’t expect to extend any of those three, Olney writes. However, the Indians re-upped Carrasco this week, in part because the 31-year-old made it clear he didn’t want to leave. Carrasco’s agents got to work on an extension with Cleveland shortly after questions about the futures of the team’s premier starters began swirling, and the two sides ultimately hammered out an agreement. Now, the Indians have “no interest” in trading Carrasco, Olney reports.