Even if he comes back to appear in one or two games, Noah Syndergaard will not answer all the questions the Mets have. No matter – sign him.
At age 29, Noah Syndergaard is entering the middle stages of a player’s prime. For pitchers, many can pitch well into their mid-30’s and a few even beyond.
Syndergaard has what they call in baseball a “live arm.” He can’t throw a pitch straight if his life depended on it, and more significantly, he’s a warrior on the mound.
Beset with injuries that sidelined him for an entire season, Noah Syndergaard seems to have shed that self-bestowed Thor image, finally realizing he is human just like everyone else.
By all accounts from the Mets, Syndergaard has religiously kept to the rehab program the team drew up for him, behavior we probably would not have seen two years ago.
In all likelihood, the Mets will be one of several teams interested in signing Syndergaard to a contract. Still, the Mets have him in their backyard and hopefully are taking advantage of informal talks that tell him – the team needs and wants you here.
Back in March, according to MLB Network‘s Jon Heyman, the Mets checked in with Syndergaard’s agents to see what his price tag might be. Those talks went nowhere, but what remained was the signal sent by the Mets.
Through his three arbitration years, Syndergaard did not bust the Mets budget, jumping from $6 million in 2019 to $9.7 million for the next two years.
Because he is a questionable commodity, Syndergaard will not break the bank, but he figures to be in the range of four years for around $60 million.
As for Noah Syndergaard himself, as recently as late August, he told The Athletic, “I can’t imagine leaving New York.”
Cynics will suggest and remind everyone that not one but two teams play in New York, but as a homegrown Mets product, he seems to be wondering if the grass will indeed be greener with a new team and organization.
On the flip side, though, Mets fans can recall hearing Zack Wheeler saying the same thing but ending up in Philadelphia.
No Question – The Mets Need Syndergaard
No matter, the point here is that the Mets need Syndergaard to man the number two spot in the rotation behind Jacob deGrom.
Moreover, the Mets need to consider the outside chance that deGrom will never be himself again. He will continue to battle numerous non-serious injuries that limit the starts he can make in 2022 and beyond.
Some players, like deGrom, “get it” from the get-go, but Noah Syndergaard has been the Met’s wayward son over his six years with the organization.
In their deliberations about Syndergaard, this means that the Mets, since they know what he is capable of on the mound, will concentrate mainly on making sure Noah’s “head” is in the right place. Convincing themselves he will refrain from firing, for instance, a 100 mph four-seamer on his first pitch of the spring in 2019.
It was disparaging enough to watch Zack Wheel disassemble the Mets last Friday in a Phillies uniform. If nothing else, the organization needs to avoid a recurrence of the same thing with the same or another team.
There’s always a risk in signing free agents, especially when it comes to pitchers. But the Mets have all of Noah Syndergaard’s medical records at hand. That will disappear when other teams come calling, and MLB rules force the Mets to disclose everything.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and Noah Syndergaard is right there for taking by the Mets – a move that behooves the organization to make.
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