This World Series player could fit Padres as free agent signing

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 06: General Manager A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 06: General Manager A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

While San Diego Padres fans are spending the World Series stewing on their couches as the victorious Philadelphia Phillies get the chance to knock off the Houston Astros, A.J. Preller and the rest of the front office are likely hard at work trying to find players in these games who could make the trip to southern California.

Preller will likely be paying attention to the starting rotations of both these teams, as the poor postseason performances of Sean Manaea and Mike Clevinger have made it even more difficult to envision a future in which they are retained. Both of the World Series clubs could still lose top pitchers to free agency this offseason.

The Philadelphia Phillies have a particularly interesting case in Noah Syndergaard. Thor was a former top prospect who decimated hitters with his baseball-themed version of Mjölnir (his 100 miles per hour fastball). Unfortunately, he has struggled to stay healthy over the last half-decade.

When he has been healthy, Syndergaard has proven that he can be an effective pitcher, though he could use one or two tweaks to rediscover his old form. The Padres have three ironclad starters returning next year, and Syndergaard could be a solid addition for a team willing to gamble on a No. 5 starter.

Will the San Diego Padres sign Noah Syndergaard?

Syndergaard, who was traded to Philly in the middle of the season from the Los Angeles Angels, posted a 3.94 ERA. While his strikeouts have fallen down and he doesn’t go too deep into games anymore, he can still get hitters out semi-regularly in a pitcher’s park.

According to park factors, Angel Stadium was the fifth-best park for hitters last year, while San Diego was the most pitcher-friendly above. Leaving two bandboxes in Anaheim and Philly should help Syndergaard’s traditional pitching stats take major steps in the right direction.

Even without the fastball he once had, Syndergaard has shown that he can command the ball and induce weak contact. Pairing that with a manager like Bob Melvin and a rotation that will not put any high expectations on him might be a formula that leads these two together.

While Syndergaard could undo all of that goodwill if he implodes in the postseason, the Padres wouldn’t be ridiculed for rolling the dice on Syndergaard with a short-term deal. If the champion Phillies thought that he would be a worthwhile addition, San Diego could certainly find a role for him.

The Dodgers are eyeing some big moves, so San Diego must stay competitive.