Things are starting to come into focus this offseason as far as who is buying, who is selling, and who is doing a little bit of both to fill the holes on their roster. Today, we got a nice little rumor about the Padres going after Noah Syndergaard. Don’t laugh. San Diego is trying! Might as well shoot for the stars while you have the prospects to do it.
Both The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and SNY’s Andy Martino are reporting that the Padres have expressed in interest in Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. San Diego pursued Syndergaard at the trade deadline and words like “more aggressive” and “significant trade interest” are being thrown around about the possible deal.
Why it makes sense for the Padres
Syndergaard is not just a star pitcher who could lead a rotation easily, but he’s that kind of pitcher who is also under team control for the next three seasons at a relatively reasonable cost. MLB Trade Rumors estimates that he’ll be paid $5.9 million in 2019. To call that a deal is an understatement.
For the Padres, Syndergaard wouldn’t be the key to immediately competing just like the Eric Hosmer signing wasn’t the key to immediately compete in 2018. But both of those are big pieces that go a long way towards building a contending team in 2020 or 2021, the seasons they are reportedly targeting as the end of their rebuild. Not every one of their top prospects is going to make it to the major league roster, so they’ll have to be flipped for something eventually.
Syndergaard, under reasonably priced team control until they plan on contending, is one of the best pieces you could build around, even with his periodic injury issues. Who knows, those injury issues might magically disappear once he’s out of the Mets’ purview.
Why it makes sense for the Mets
This is a tricky one because no one is exactly sure how agent-turned-GM Brodie Van Wagenen is going to approach the Mets’ talent situation besides that he has hopes to contend. But there are lots of ways to contend! They could keep all of their top pieces, who they have at least through 2019 or 2020, fix some other problem areas, hope for injury luck to lean their way for once, and see what happens in the short term.
Or, Van Wagenen could push his chips in now and focus on an extension for Jacob deGrom while attempting to flip Syndergaard for top pieces now with the understanding that two long term extensions for star pitchers might not be the smartest or most feasible move. If that’s the strategy, the Padres would make a great trade partner. Their farm system is one of the top, if not the top, prospect pool in the league right now so they certainly have the pieces for Syndergaard and are apparently willing to give them up if they’re going after him aggressively, as reported.
It’s just a matter of whether the Mets want to try and get those top prospects now or risk waiting another season or two before flipping him.
B+. The Padres are definitely interested and with new leadership in place we can’t truly know what to expect out of the Mets right away. So it works for both sides the way the rumor is presented now. However, the Mets haven’t come out and said they want to trade Syndergaard at all. It just makes logical sense that they’d do so if they go down that specific strategic path. So if they want to flip him now instead of 2020, the Padres would make an extremely suitable trade partner.