The Mets say Noah Syndergaard will likely be offered an extension. An enigma no more, this is, at last, a sign of “Thor’s” personal maturation.
The Mets once watched with intrigue as they watched the development of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard unfold. Bless with ample physical talent, who would be the first to reach the Cy Young finish line?
The sheer size of Syndergaard’s Texas-bred 6 feet 6 inches 240 lb frame, together with effortless bullets streaming to the plate at 95plus, placed the early betting on “Thor,” as he was christened by media and Mets fans.
Mets: “Thor” And All Those False Starts
But the journey for Syndergaard since then has not always been on smooth pavement. As we know, deGrom is the one recognized as the premier pitcher in league with not one but two Cy Young’s.
This, while Noah Syndergaard has labored through a series of false starts, some the result of his own actions, with the result leaving the Mets with only the hope and belief that he has finally scaled the transition from Thor to major league pitcher.
That Sandy Alderson includes Syndergaard in the same sentence as Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto, both of whom can be considered no-brainers in the context of Mets extension offers, is testament itself to how far Syndergaard has come – as a person as much as a pitcher.
Syndergaard: Beyond The Work Ethic There Was Something Missing
There was a time when it appeared a given that if you asked Noah Syndergaard to go out there to throw a no-hitter, he would easily oblige. But you had to ask him first.
It was never that Syndergaard’s work ethic was in question. He worked as hard as anyone to keep his Olympian body in shape, loving too to wander shirtless in the outfield, much to the glee of his adoring female Mets fans.
But at the same time, there seemed to something lacking when unlike deGrom, who insisted on mastering the science and art of pitching at this level, Syndergaard seemed more focused on getting by with natural talent.
The same talent that afforded him moderately successful career numbers, albeit with only 47 wins over five on and off years with the Mets, culminating with the Tommy John surgery that cost him the loss of the 2020 season.
As we look at Noah Syndergaard a year later and 80% through the rehab process, we see what the Mets see as they weigh whether or not to open Steve Cohen’s vault to the tune of $50-75 million for Syndergaard, a deal that will add more than a half-billion dollars to Mets liability once Lindor and Conforto are locked up.
Synchronicity – Finally!
The singular difference we see in Syndergaard now is that he is listening. Oh, he’s still the same old Noah who gleened with delight when he was authorized to throw three sliders during his last bullpen session – the difference only that he stopped there.
Met’s pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, himself a Tommy John survivor who went through the frustrating and tortuous ardor of rehab not once but twice, is in control of Syndergaard’s progression – and Syndergaard is letting it happen.
No doubt, the Mets are witnessing one of the fastest tours through rehab ever with Syndergaard, and it’s only a matter of days and weeks, not months, before he is on the mound facing live batters in actual game competition.
Of Syndergaard, Hefner told the New York Post:
It’s a fine line, though, as the Mets never want to risk destroying the “Thor” in Noah Syndergaard. Instead, the need to temper the edge now seems within range, and both sides are cooperating.
The Mets And Noah – Worth The Risks
The proverbial risks regarding an extension extend to both the Mets and Syndergaard. The Mets fear re-injury that will cost them dearly given the terms of a guaranteed contract, while Syndergaard may be leery of jumping the gun on his upcoming free agency if he has an outstanding 2021 season.
But given the sometimes rocky road, the Mets have experienced Syndergaard, it is a major step forward to consider an extension at this point.
The Mets will not need to ask Syndergaard to throw that no-hitter referred to earlier. He’s on it – in tune with the Mets – and that will make all the difference.