The pitcher known as Thor was mentioned in trade rumors revolving around the Padres and the New York Mets last winter. Those rumors never amounted to anything.
As the season nears the July 31 trade deadline, those rumors are again picking up. Tim Healey of Newsday reported on July 10 that the Mets had discussed a Syndergaard trade with at least six teams, with one of those teams being San Diego.
Syndergaard has a 4.36 ERA through 19 starts (119.2 innings) so far in 2019. The Mets have a 45-54 record as of July 22. They are 14 games back in the National League East and are seven games back in the NL Wild Card standings. To say that the Mets’ season has fallen below expectations would be an understatement. This year has gone from bad to downright dysfunctional for the team from Queens. Manager Mickey Callaway berated a reporter after a baseball game earlier in the season, and reports surfaced earlier month that general manager Brodie Van Wagenen threw a chair during a heated meeting with his coaching staff.
With the Mets out of contention, teams have already begun to inquire about trades. It’s not likely that the Mets would trade Syndergaard, but a trade could be made if a team makes an offer that Van Wagenen just can’t refuse. Despite their woes, the Mets have every intention to try for contention again in 2020. Syndergaard is controllable through the 2021 season, so they’re in no rush to trade him.
Syndergaard is a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, exactly what the Padres are looking for. They want someone who can lead a rotation full of youngsters in the future. Acquiring him now would mean they have him through the next two seasons, and longer if they offer him an extension.
However, the high price tag won’t make it easy. The Padres have plenty of prospect capital to make this trade happen but do they want to deal the prospects the Mets would want? Last winter, the Mets asked for Fernando Tatis, Jr., a player the Padres deemed untouchable. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a report saying the Mets asked for Mackenzie Gore. The Padres are not going to jeopardize their future by trading baseball’s No. 3 prospect for two-plus seasons of Noah Syndergaard. Gore is part of their blueprint for contention.
Add in the fact that Syndergaard has had issues staying on the mound since 2017, and this trade seems like more risk than it is worth. Earlier this season, he missed time with a hamstring strain. He was placed on the Injured List twice last season, once for a strained ligament in his right index finger and once for hand, foot and mouth disease. He missed more than half of the 2017 season with a partial lat tear.
The Padres still have things to do before becoming serious contenders, and finding a veteran pitcher to put at the front of the rotation remains at the top of the list. People around baseball will continue to watch what they do over the next week-and-a-half to see what moves they make to set themselves up for next season and beyond.