Mets starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler have been seeing their names in trade rumors for weeks. The Mets are mostly controlling the starting pitching market after dealing for Marcus Stroman — with questions surrounding whether or not the Giants move Madison Bumgarner and the Rangers possibly not trading Mike Minor — and it seems like the returns for both to the Mets would be big.
Syndergaard took the ball on Tuesday and dealt. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and ended up striking out 11 while only walking one in 7 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up just five hits and most of the contact — when there actually was contact — wasn’t hard.
This is the guy he should be a lot more often. Syndergaard might have the best raw stuff in baseball. He averages over 98 mph and hits triple digits with his fastball while his sinker sits around 98, his changeup averages over 91 (a changeup!) and his slider can top 90. That’s not a guy who should have an ERA of 4.33, which is what he was entering Tuesday. This outing was a “that’s more like it!” type.
There are two schools of thought here:
- It was a reminder to the Mets of just how good he can be, so why trade him with two years of control left when they aren’t committed to rebuilding?
- It increased his value to other teams, as they caught a glimpse of his upside.
To be clear, the calculus on a player’s trade value should never changed based upon one game, unless there was an injury. But with Syndergaard’s career line entering this season and his raw ability, a start like this could make people think twice. All his upside was on display and he could provide a major boost to any rotation.
Plus, Syndergaard doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2021 season.
Something else we should consider: The Mets are within shouting distance (5 1/2 games as of Tuesday night) of the second wild card and I wouldn’t put it past this ownership group/front office decide to go for it and hope for a second-half surge like the one in 2015 that got them to the World Series. They’ve already added Stroman, after all.
For what it’s worth, Syndergaard told reporters after the game that he has been in contact with the front office and believes he isn’t going anywhere:
“I don’t think anything is going to happen … I think I’m staying put,” Syndergaard said, via SNY. “It’s always in the back of my mind. I try not to harp on things that are outside of my control.”
It’s not definitive because someone could blow the Mets away with an offer, but it’s sounding like he’s going to stick around. Stay tuned.