Star right-hander Noah Syndergaard has drawn trade interest this offseason, but if the Mets do deal him, it’s not going to be for a package of prospects, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Rather, because the Mets aim to contend in 2019, they’d need to make a trade that improves their roster both now and in the future, according to Rosenthal. Moving Syndergaard would likely cause significant damage to the Mets’ rotation heading into 2019, though, so they’d almost have to sign a replacement in free agency, Rosenthal notes. To this point, the Mets have been “very engaged in the marketplace,” a representative for a free-agent starter tells Rosenthal.
Syndergaard’s not the only established Mets hurler whose future is in question, per Rosenthal, who adds that all of their starters are generating interest. Syndergaard’s fellow ace, National League Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, isn’t going anywhere, sources tell Rosenthal. The rest of the Mets’ rotation – which consists of Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Jason Vargas – isn’t as impressive, though Wheeler and Matz are appealing. Wheeler, healthy for the first time since 2014, is coming off a terrific season, but he only has a year of control remaining; Matz is an injury-prone lefty who was a mixed bag in 2018, but he’s still just 27 and has three years of control left; Vargas, meanwhile, endured a disastrous 2018, and with a guaranteed $10MM left on his contract, the Mets may be fortunate to find a taker for him. However, as with Syndergaard, the Mets’ goal in giving up any of Wheeler, Matz or Vargas would be to better themselves in the near and long term, Rosenthal writes.
More rumblings from Rosenthal…
- Even though the Rangers’ rotation is perilously thin, the rebuilding club would likely trade its top starter, left-hander Mike Minor, for the right offer, Rosenthal suggests. Minor’s drawing interest on the heels of his first season in Texas, which signed him to a three-year, $28MM guarantee last December. When he joined the Rangers, Minor was coming off an excellent season as a full-time reliever for the Royals, but he returned to a starting role in 2018 and posted a 4.18 ERA/4.43 FIP with 7.57 K/9 and 2.18 BB/9 over 157 innings (28 starts). Minor has an affordable $19MM left on his contract, though his 10-team no-trade clause could block some prospective suitors from acquiring him.
- After a drawn-out search, the Orioles finally named a general manager, Mike Elias, whom they hired Friday. Elias is now seeking a manager for the Orioles, and it’s “more likely” he’ll hire an experienced skipper than a neophyte, Rosenthal relays. However, Elias isn’t necessarily aiming to make a high-profile hire, per Rosenthal, who writes that the O’s next manager could be a “caretaker.”