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Noah Syndergaard signs one-year deal with the Angels
New York's former right-hander was expected to accept the qualifying offer before departing.
Already in need of top shelf starting pitching this winter, the Mets’ problem became quite a bit larger with Noah Syndergaard agreeing to terms on a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, according to multiple reports.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network was first to report Syndergaard and the Angels were progressing towards a deal. Jeff Passan of ESPN says the deal is for one-year, $21 million.
The Mets extended Syndergaard an $18.4 million qualifying offer last week. If the deal is completed, Syndergaard will formally reject the qualifying offer and the Mets will receive a compensation pick in the June 2022 amateur draft, with the Angels losing their second-highest pick in the draft.
The good news is, the Mets can take the money previous earmarked for Syndergaard and redirect it towards other elite starting pitching, and unquestionably an arm that comes with more certainty (Max Scherzer immediately comes to mind). In addition, with the additional draft choice, the Mets have four picks from rounds 1 - 3. It’s also a lot for the Angels - who are almost as desperate for starting pitching as the Mets are - to give up for a pitcher who has logged just two innings since the end of the 2019 season with Tommy John Surgery sandwiched in-between.
That’s about it on the good news front, however.
It’s not clear how or why the Mets didn’t top the reported deal Syndergaard received from the Angels. It’s hard to imagine there wasn’t a middle ground for the two sides to find, especially after Syndergaard indicated at the conclusion of the 2021 season he wanted to return to the Mets next season.
“It would be a tough pill to swallow not wearing the Mets jersey next year,” Syndergaard said in early October.
His departure could be a tougher pill for the Mets to swallow. And in the end, the terms of his deal with the Angels suggest maybe he didn’t want to be with the Mets after all.
This news makes re-signing Marcus Stroman a top priority for the Mets. Even if the Mets are able to procure a top-shelf starting pitcher to replace Syndergaard, there aren’t many paths to success for the Mets in 2022 without Stroman on the roster. It takes two to tango of course and it might mean the Mets have to go over-market to ensure Stroman remains with the Mets, but with the uncertainty surrounding the health of Jacob deGrom and the lack of quality depth overall, Stroman unquestionably just became their biggest fish in the pond.
Its not as though Syndergaard didn’t come without risk. Having not pitched in two years, he has a lot of work to do just to prove he can be a sustainable force in any rotation going forward. But he was a proven commodity with playoff experience in New York, even if he hadn’t contributed since the end of the 2019 season.
In the end, this is a big blow for the Mets to endure. Their chaotic off-season just became even more chaotic, and it’s only November.
Billy Eppler couldn’t get started soon enough.