New York Mets: Why They Should Extend Noah Syndergaard
The man nicknamed “Thor” because of his tall frame with long hair, Syndergaard was once a dominating pitcher when he first came up to the Major Leagues in 2015. He threw a fastball that hovered in the triple digits at 100 mph. He also threw a mixture of secondary pitches that made him more difficult for opposing batters to hit against.
Noah’s best years were during his first two seasons in the majors. He went 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA in his rookie season of 2015. Then he burst into the bright lights of October, winning two playoff games including the Mets lone World Series victory in Game 3 against the Kansas City Royals.
Syndergaard followed that up with an All-Star berth in 2016. He won a career-high 14 games that year with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts. Syndergaard shined under the bright lights of October again that season. Despite losing the National League Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants, Thor matched wits with dominant postseason starter Madison Bumgarner, throwing seven shutout innings in that game.
So on his way to elite status as a starter, Noah Syndergaard’s difficulties started in 2017 when he tore his right lat in a start vs the Washington Nationals at the beginning of May. He missed nearly five months that season. He came back in 2018 with a 13-4 record and a 3.03 ERA. But he struggled in 2019, going 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA and gave up a career-high 24 home runs.
And then as we all know, he missed the entire 2020 season.
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Syndergaard will be a free agent after this season, so 2021 will be a crucial year for him. The question is, should the Mets re-sign him?
I believe they should and here’s why.
If the New York Mets want to sign Noah Syndergaard for a pretty cheap value, now is the time to do so after he missed the entire year in 2020. He also struggled in his last full season in 2019. So despite his dominant stuff, there’s some uncertainty as to how Noah will fare, coming back from a long layoff. Many players have come back strong from Tommy John surgery, so there’s hope. If the Mets can extend Syndergaard before Opening Day and he goes on to have a solid year, the Mets will really get a bargain on that. Plus they could possibly have enough money then to re-sign Francisco Lindor and also Michael Conforto, or at least one of them.
Only 28 years old
Syndergaard is only 28 years old, so he is still in his prime. If he can stay healthy from now on, he can have several more good years left on his belt.
When he’s on, Noah can still dominate a game with his hard-throwing stuff. Syndergaard’s fastball is in the upper 90s to a 100. He throws a slider and changeup that hovers in the low to mid-90s. And he also throws a curveball in the mid to upper 80s. All those attributes made him nearly unhittable when he first came up. Many pitchers still maintain their velocity after TJ surgery, so Noah can be no exception as well. If he maintains his stuff and is focused, there’s little reason why Syndergaard cannot go back to the dominant pitcher he once was.
Jacob deGrom is unquestionably the team’s current ace but he is 32 years old. At some point, he can start slowing down in his mid-30s from ace-like status. Syndergaard who’s four years younger than deGrom, could possibly then take over as the Mets ace if he gets back into form.
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Syndergaard has proven that he can pitch under the bright lights of New York with his sizzling start in his MLB career. He has also proven that he can pitch in the postseason in 2015 and 2016. Thus he’s shown that he can pitch under pressure.
You Can Never Have Enough Starting Pitching
That saying above holds true. Starting pitching is always a necessity no matter how many proven starters you have. In the Mets case, there’s deGrom and after him, there are some question marks. Along with whether Syndergaard can come back healthy, there are also questions of whether Marcus Stroman can also come back strong after opting out last season and also if David Petersen can build on his strong rookie season. If Syndergaard can be himself, he will be the No. 2 starter. So then if the Mets let him leave via free agency, that will be a huge hole to fill. The Mets let Zack Wheeler leave via free agency last offseason and it affected their rotation in 2020. They can’t afford to make the same mistake with Syndergaard especially if he bounces back this season.
What do you think? Should the Mets extend Noah Syndergaard? Leave a comment below.
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