There are rumors swirling that the San Diego Padres are indeed talking to the New York Mets about right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Let’s examine some positives and negatives to a potential deal for the Padres, as they search for an ace to lead their staff.
The San Diego Padres are shopping for a young ace.
After years of treading water, the franchise finally appears ready to be a consistent competitor in the NL West. They have a young nucleus of hitters at the major league level and in the upper minors, but the team lacks a true top-of-the-order-type starting pitcher.
There have been rumors that the San Diego Padres have been in discussions with the New York Mets in regard to pitchers. Jacob deGrom has been mentioned, but fresh off an NL Cy Young Award, the Mets might be very hesitant to deal him.
Noah Syndergaard has been mentioned as a trade target for the Padres by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. He reports that the Padres are still very much interested in acquiring the talented right-handed pitcher. No word on who the Mes are targeting, or if the two sides have even started negotiating.
If the Padres were to acquire the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher they would surely pay a hefty price. Let’s explore the idea further and examine the positives and negatives to a deal that could put the Padres over the edge – hypothetically speaking. Syndergaard is that good.
A True Ace-
There is no doubt that the Padres need an innings eater who ends losing streaks for ballclubs any time he takes the mound. Noah Syndergaard features a high 90’s fastball and a slider he throws as high as 92-95 mph. He is filthy on the mound and there is no hitter in the game of baseball who enjoys batting against him.
In this day and age where there are only a few pitchers who you can regard as an ace, Syndergaard is surely one of them. The Mets are blessed with two pitchers who can be given this label, so a deal could be consummated if the Padres pay the asking price. That is a big if though.
Young, Controllable Starter-
Syndergaard is not due for free agency until after the 2022 season. That is three years of team control over a pitcher who will be in the prime of his career. The Padres are surely looking for established major league pitchers who fit that mold. You cannot find a better pitcher for the Padres to build their staff around.
At 26, he is only a few years older than Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer. He will relate to those young pitchers while giving an example of how to prepare yourself at the major league level. His combination of youth and three years of team control is extremely enticing for a club looking to break out.
Verge of Stardom-
It is scary to think that he has yet to reach his ability as a pitcher. With a career record of 37-22 in 518 innings pitched, we have only begun to see what Noah Syndergaard can do in the game of baseball. He has struck out 573 batters in that time, which is impressive. As he grows and matures in the game of baseball, he should get better.
Last year, Syndergaard won 13 games in 25 starts for the Mets. He has never eclipsed 30 starts and 183 innings in a season. Both those numbers were achieved in 2016, which was Syndergaard’s only all-star season. If he can again pitch close to 200 innings, the numbers will be there for this right-handed hurler.
This is the elephant in the room. The Padres surely have the prospects to get a deal done, but are they willing to part with them and will the Mets settle for a package that doesn’t consist of three of the Padres’ top 7-10 prospects? Francisco Mejia is the name that keeps coming up in rumors as the Mets need catching help. The Padres acquired the young backstop with the intention of playing him, so this seems like a tough call for the Friars.
Perhaps the Mets would take Austin Hedges, but he would have to be packaged with names like MacKenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon, Chris Paddack, and Michel Baez to even begin negotiations. The Padres would have to pay a huge price tag to obtain Syndergaard. Fernando Tatis Jr. should not be in this trade talk, but beyond him, almost anyone else could be moved to acquire Thor. If you think Myers and a package of lesser-tiered prospects will get a deal done, then you have no clue. The price tag would be painful for Padres fans. There is no doubt about that.
Slight Health Risk-
We have already mentioned the fact Syndergaard hasn’t completed a full complete year of a major league season. That means that there are very few miles on his arm. This might be true, but there have been numerous small injuries that are a bit concerning if you are a team looking to acquire him.
Last year, the big right-handed pitcher missed time with a finger ligament issue on his throwing hand, and he also missed a start with Coxsackie Virus (hand, foot, and mouth disease). In 2017, a lat injury sidelined him for most the year as he only made seven starts and threw just 30 innings at the major league level. There is a risk with Syndergaard, but the reward is ridiculously high. At 26, there is still time for him to reach his peak.
The Right Fit?-
The Padres are very close to being a franchise of relevancy. They need starting pitching, and an ace like Syndergaard would go a long way toward providing the credibility that the Padres so desperately need. He has risks, and the price tag would be ridiculously high, but it may be the right call for the team.
A.J. Preller and Padres management will do their homework on Syndergaard. They will want to see all his medical records and talk to players and coaches who know him personally. The team needs an assertive young pitcher who wants to take on the challenge of leading a young staff. Syndergaard could be that man, but the fit must be correct for the Padres as the asking price will be high.
This situation is fluid. The Padres have the ability to offer the Mets the best package of young arms. Realistically, the Padres could deal three starting pitchers and still have a deep farm system. MacKenzie Gore would be tough to move for Syndergaard, but if the Padres are really serious, he could be the headliner in a potential deal.
As the winter season progresses, there will surely be more news on these two teams. The Mets are reporting that they do not want to deal Noah Syndergaard, but they could just be posturing in an effort to drive up the price. A.J. Preller and the Padres will likely have the final say if the Mets make a deal. The Padres have the talent the Metropolitans desire.