In the latest round of Padres rumors, is Noah Syndergaard still an option?
Good morning, San Diego! You want a front-line, top of the rotation, ace pitcher in San Diego? How about New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard? According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic ($ subscription required), in the latest round of Padres rumors, San Diego remains interested in the Mets star pitcher.
Rosenthal claims that, according to his sources in the industry, the Padres are still active in pursuing the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher and we all know this team has the prospects to pull off the trade.
"The likelihood that the Mets secure long-term deals with Syndergaard and National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom seems slim, so it probably will behoove them to at least explore the trade market for one or the other."
If the Padres want to pull off this trade, it will take a very large haul. He just turned 26 less than three months ago, is under team control for the next three seasons, and is expected to receive somewhere in the $6 million range through arbitration this offseason (per MLBTradeRumors).
In his four seasons as a major leaguer, Syndergaard is 37-22 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.66 FIP, and a 132 ERA+. He has fanned 573 hitters in 518 career innings while issuing just 116 free passes. I don’t think I have to convince anyone reading that Syndergaard is an ace and will be for years to come.
What will take to acquire Syndergaard? Assuming San Diego takes Fernando Tatis Jr.and MacKenzie Gore off the table, do negotiations begin with Austin Hedges? This isn’t the centerpiece of the trade, just a starting off point for this purpose. The Mets currently have Travis d’Arnaud, Tomas Nido, and Kevin Plawecki on their 40-man roster. Per our friends over at RisingApple.com,
"The first and one of the most important is the catching situation: the Mets claimed the third-least amount of production in the National League by fWAR from the catching position."
Hedges is streaky on offense, but there is no questioning his elite defensive abilities and the Padres seem very keen to the idea of keeping top catching prospect Francisco Mejia behind the plate.
New York is also in need of some bullpen help, something the Padres have a lot of. The Mets’ bullpen finished 2018 with an ERA of nearly 5.00 and finished with a combined fWAR of -0.6. They were one of only three teams in baseball to finish with a negative fWAR. Let’s add Kirby Yates to this deal.
After starting with Hedges and Yates, pick your poison, New York. If the Mets truly believe they can win next season, this trade offers big upgrades at two key positions. Joey Lucchesi or Eric Lauer can be added to solidify the back end of their rotation and the Padres have the richest farm system in major league baseball. Seven of their pitching prospects rank in the overall Top 100, per MLB Pipeline and as Kyle Glaser believes, most Padres prospects that round out their top 30 list are top 10 in many other organizations. Adding two top 100 prospects this deal is reasonable, especially seeing as San Diego needs to start moving these prospects (except for Tatis Jr, get over it, Mets fans)
The discussion out of Padres camp has centered on the idea of upgrading the starting rotation through trades versus signing free agents, with Patrick Corbin being the only true ace option on the market right now. This is the type of trade that helps to move the needle toward contending, as the front office continues to push a 2020 date of contention.