NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have a lot of holes, but they are hesitant to move one of their best pitchers to help fill them.
Though interest in Noah Syndergaard is high league wide, the Mets aren’t going to trade him simply for a package of prospects, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported over the weekend.
And that includes sending him to the San Diego Padres, who reportedly have an affinity for Syndergaard and the best minor league system in the majors, according to Baseball America. Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon told MLB.com that acceptable offers for the hard-throwing right-hander “would have to be pretty lopsided.”
Syndergaard is a rare commodity. He’s an already successful pitcher at the highest level and is under team control until 2021. His projected salary in arbitration next season is $5.9 million, according to MLBTradeRumors.com, which, for a pitcher of Syndergaard’s prowess, is a bargain. He is eligible for arbitration again in 2020 and 2021 before being eligible for free agency.
The 26-year-old right-hander missed basically all of the 2017 season due to a torn lat muscle, but came back strong this year, going 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 25 starts. Overall, he is 37-22 with a 2.93 ERA in 87 career appearances, including 86 starts.
New general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has indicated the Mets are not looking at a complete rebuild, even though they have had a losing record in each of the last two seasons. The former player agent wants to supplement the roster he has, especially on the mound, where New York sports Syndergaard, newly minted NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and 27-year-old righty Zack Wheeler, who was exceptional during the second half of the 2018 season, going 10-1 with a 2.06 ERA over his last 15 starts.
The Mets also have a back end of the rotation that includes left-hander Steven Matz and veteran southpaw Jason Vargas. Matz, 27, went just 5-11 this past season, but his ERA was a respectable 3.97, including 2.29 over his final seven starts. Vargas missed significant time to begin the season due to a broken hand, but finished strong, going 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA over his final seven starts.
Van Wagenen’s task will be to add to the lineup and bullpen without significantly subtracting. The Mets finished 23rd in runs scored (676) and their relief corp’s ERA of 4.96 ranked 28th in the majors.