Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard reportedly could be available ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but some MLB teams are unsure if acquiring him would be a wise move.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, front offices are "wary" of Syndergaard's "fluctuating stuff," which has led to some mixed results this season.
Still, Syndergaard is an option for teams in search of a rental arm, as he is set to become a free agent following this season after signing a one-year, $21 million contract with the Angels in November.
The 29-year-old Syndergaard didn't pitch at all in 2020 and made just two appearances for the New York Mets in 2021 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Given the long layoff, there were questions regarding whether he would resemble the power pitcher he was earlier in his career, but the Angels decided he was worth the risk.
The 6'6" righty's numbers this season are solid on the surface, as he is 5-8 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 15 starts, although he has just 64 strikeouts in 80 innings.
Syndergaard has never had a strikeout rate lower than nine K's per nine innings in his career, but that number sits at just 7.2 this season.
The one-time All-Star typically hasn't lasted deep into games this season either, getting past six innings just four times, and lasting less than six innings on nine occasions.
Part of Syndergaard's issue this season and the reason for his lower strikeout rate may be the fact that his velocity is down compared to past years.
Passan noted Syndergaard's slider is about 10 mph slower than it once was and that his fastball has usually sat in between 91 and 95 mph this season, although he has got it up as high as 97 mph on occasion.
At this point in his career, Syndergaard is no longer the dominant starter he once was, but he has shown this season that he is capable of delivering quality starts and keeping his team in the game.
Because of that and the fact that he would be a rental rather than a long-term commitment, he may end up garnering at least some interest on the trade market, especially as the deadline draws even closer.