Top Trade Packages and Landing Spots for Mets Star Noah Syndergaard
The New York Mets spent the winter adding pieces under new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen with designs on contending. Things haven't gone according to plan.
Entering play Wednesday, the Mets were 35-38 and 7.5 games out in the National League East. That's not an insurmountable disadvantage in mid-June, but it means they'll need to get scalding hot before the July 31 trade deadline or accept their status as sellers.
If the latter happens, Noah Syndergaard will be one of New York's most alluring assets.
Mostly, he's an accomplished 26-year-old with electric stuff who's controllable through 2021. If he returns to health and the Mets make him available, suitors will come calling.
In the event of a Thor trade, here's a look at a half-dozen plausible landing spots and the packages the Mets could demand in return.
The Texas Rangers weren't expected to contend in 2019, yet they sit in second place in the American League West and are at the heart of the wild-card scramble.
Their starting pitchers, meanwhile, rank 23rd in baseball with a 5.05 ERA. If Texas hopes to reach the postseason, that won't do.
To acquire Syndergaard, the Rangers would probably have to part with top prospect Hans Crouse, a Single-A right-hander with major upside, as well as toolsy High-A outfielder Leody Taveras.
They could pair him with lefty Mike Minor (2.63 ERA, 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings) to create a formidable one-two punch capable of making playoff noise.
It'd be a steep price for a team on the fringe and is a long shot. But everything's bigger in Texas...including, possibly, the shock factor of deadline deals.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels are mired in fourth place in the AL West. They can't afford to waste another year of Mike Trout's prime after they inked the 27-year-old superstar center fielder to a record-breaking extension in March.
The first order of business is improving a rotation that ranks 26th with a 5.38 ERA and 30th with 319.1 innings pitched.
The Halos might have to part with outfielder and top prospect Jo Adell plus a secondary piece such as Single-A right-hander Jose Soriano.
Ouch, for sure. But Los Angeles is at risk of squandering this generation's greatest player. Playing it safe and hoarding MiLB chips won't cut it.
The Atlanta Braves signed free-agent lefty Dallas Keuchel to a one-year, $13 million contract after a protracted waiting period. They could stop there and coast on their first-place position in the NL East.
Or they could go for broke, add Syndergaard and become a juggernaut.
Imagine the Braves' young, hungry offense and its No. 4-ranked .801 OPS married to the righty-lefty duo of Syndergaard and Keuchel heading into October.
Assuming the Mets are willing to trade within the division, the Braves could swap right-hander Ian Anderson and emerging lefty Kyle Muller from their No. 2 farm system to get it done.
They may have to pay an in-division tax and add an additional piece such as hard-throwing righty Trey Riley, but it'd be worth it.
The Milwaukee Brewers advanced to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in 2018, but they're in a fight with the Chicago Cubs for NL Central dominance, and the St. Louis Cardinals are lurking.
If the Brewers want to build on last season's success, they need to buttress a starting corps that ranks 20th with a 4.76 ERA and lacks a postseason-tested ace.
Syndergaard could fit the bill, provided Milwaukee is willing to part with infielder and top prospect Keston Hiura, who looked MLB-ready during a 17-game stint with the Brewers (.865 OPS).
Throw in athletic outfielder Corey Ray and you might have a deal, plus the Brew Crew's first World Series appearance since 1982.
New York Yankees
To win their 28th title, they'll need to improve a rotation that sports a 4.03 ERA and is missing injured ace Luis Severino (lat strain), who is likely out until after the All-Star break.
If the Mets are amenable to negotiating with their Big Apple counterparts, the Yankees could offer either Deivi Garcia or Luis Gil, a pair of high-ceiling righties, plus five-tool 18-year-old outfielder Antonio Cabello.
If the Yanks pony up, Thor in pinstripes would be a sight to behold.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres might be a year away from contention despite the offseason addition of superstar third baseman Manny Machado.
Their starting rotation ranks 14th with a 4.32 ERA despite the advantage of hurling its home games at pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
The Pads were interested in Syndergaard as far back as July 2018. They could leverage the game's top-ranked system and swap infielder Luis Urias, who's blocked on the left side of the infield by Machado and burgeoning star Fernando Tatis Jr., as well as bat-missing Single-A lefty Ryan Weathers.
By 2020 and definitely 2021, Syndergaard and the Friars would be an MLB force.
All statistics current as of Wednesday and courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.