Published On: Wed, Jun 20th, 2018

How 3 contenders can land Mets phenom Noah Syndergaard

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The New York Mets are in shambles.

After winning 11 of their first 12 games to begin the season, the early excitement and joy flowing through the bodies of the Citi Field faithful have since transformed into cries for change as the team slowly moves into the basement of the National League East division – New York has only two more wins than the rebuilding Miami Marlins.

Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce are injured. Adrian Gonzalez has been released and no one is sure what’s going on with Jose Reyes, who might be retiring.

Because of all of these soul-sucking factors, the Mets are reportedly ready to entertain trade offers for virtually everyone on their roster, according to sources of The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who mentioned one very interesting name among trade candidates: Noah Syndergaard.

In writing about how the Mets would need a “boatload” of talent to trade Jacob deGrom, Rosenthal mentions they might be more open to moving Syndergaard, who has not pitched since May 25 because of a ligament strain in his right finger and has only thrown 95 innings since the beginning of 2017.

When Syndergaard is healthy, he’s a Cy Young candidate. He’s under team control until the end of 2021 and he’s affordable, not yet entering the arbitration process.

Because of these reasons, Syndergaard would be an incredibly appealing add to any team, especially contenders in the midst of playoff runs. So here are three interesting trade proposals for the flame-throwing hurler nicknamed Thor:

Atlanta Braves

To NYM: RHP Mike Soroka, LHP Luiz Gohara, C Alex Jackson

Why this deal will happen:

  • There is a familiar connection in the Braves’ front office for the 25-year-old Syndergaard. When the towering right-hander was drafted 38th overall by the Blue Jays in the 2010 draft, current Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos was running the show in Toronto.
  • The Braves have been on the hunt for a front-of-the-line starter for some time and have been linked to Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer in the past.
  • Atlanta’s farm system is one of the deepest and richest in baseball. A package of Soroka, Gohara, and Jackson would provide the Mets with two promising arms and help stock their catching depth. The trio is also a little bit less of a package than what the Red Sox gave up to acquire Chris Sale, who had similar years of control, but a better resume than Syndergaard when acquired.

Why it won’t happen:

  • Despite the Nationals and Phillies hot on their trail for the NL East lead, a source of’s Mark Feinsand told him not to expect a series of moves by Atlanta between now and the trade deadline. Apparent money concerns – Atlanta’s payroll is north of a $123 million – are holding them back.
  • Even if they choose to tear down, the Mets may not want to trade a potential star like Syndergaard within their own division, although that hasn’t stopped them in the past. The Mets have traded within their division four times since the beginning of 2015.

Milwaukee Brewers

To NYM: 1B Jesus Aguilar, RHP Corbin Burnes, OF Brett Phillips

Why this deal will happen:

  • The Brewers don’t have the prospect capital of the Braves, but they do have a stockpile of productive first-base options, one of which is Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having an incredible season (148 OPS+), but was still just a waiver claim, so the Brew Crew might want to capitalize on trading him while his stock is high and also open up playing time at first for Ryan Braun and Eric Thames. The Mets need help at first, with Dominic Smith not living up to expectations.
  • While Syndergaard costs them next to nothing ($2.975-million salary in 2018), Aguilar, Burnes, and Phillips are all pre-arb guys, which is music to the ears of GM Sandy Alderson, who has felt payroll pressure from ownership in the past.
  • The Brewers have shown a willingness to trade for a big-game pitcher more than once in the past 10 years. They acquired CC Sabathia in July of 2008 and Zack Greinke in December of 2010. While the pair didn’t have the same long-term control as Syndergaard and the front office is different, those were bold moves by Milwaukee that could have their fan base begging for another.

Why it won’t happen:

  • Former big-league GM Jim Duquette listed deGrom, not Syndergaard, as a pitcher the Brewers could be eyeing as they aggressively pursue starting pitching. DeGrom’s body of work this season has been impressive (252 ERA+), which could take plenty of suitors out of the running for Syndergaard.
  • Milwaukee may decide to keep Aguilar (he’s only 27 and one of their current best players) and continue to rotate Braun and Thames in the outfield, where they’re both average defenders (combined +3 in defensive runs saved).

New York Yankees

To NYM: IF Brandon Drury, LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Chance Adams

Why this deal will happen:

  • The Yankees are on the hunt for a starter because of injuries to Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John) and Masahiro Tanaka (strained hamstrings). They’ve most recently been linked to J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays, but the addition of Syndergaard would be an eye-opening move that might have Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski shaking in his boots.
  • Drury is a good baseball player and the Mets are going to need a replacement for Asdrubal Cabrera at season’s end. It’s why the Yankees, who had been interested in acquiring him for some time, conducted a three-team deal to land him in February. An issue with migraines forced Drury to the DL. After recovering, he lost his starting job to Miguel Andujar and has been in the minors since. The 25-year-old was recently named International League Player of the Week and owns a .966 OPS.
  • The Mets don’t have a single pitching prospect and only two prospects in the top 100 (No. 99 and No. 100) on MLB Pipeline. Sheffield and Adams would give them two promising pitching prospects who aren’t that far away from the bigs. Sheffield has looked good for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, posting a 3.03 ERA in seven starts.

Why it won’t happen:

  • It’s a New York thing. The Yankees and Mets rarely trade with each other. The two clubs have swapped just 15 times since 1966 and orchestrating a deal from Queens to the Bronx for a player the caliber of Syndergaard would presumably leave a sour taste in the mouths of Mets fans if Thor succeeds in Yankees pinstripes.
  • The Yankees might choose to acquire a pitcher with experience in the tough AL East instead of Syndergaard. On top of their aforementioned attraction to Happ, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden envisions the Yankees using their prospect capital to acquire Blake Snell from the Rays. While Bowden mentions both Syndergaard and Snell as “dream targets” of the Yankees, Snell has owned the Red Sox (2-0, 0.95 ERA, 9.0 SO/9 in 2018).

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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