Following a press conference at Citi Field to introduce Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters it would require “very special circumstances to even consider” trading starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Any trade would need to bring back pieces to fill holes in their lineup in 2019 as opposed to strictly receiving prospects.
In speaking with the media, Van Wagenen reaffirmed that the team is in win-now mode following the blockbuster deal that landed them Cano and Diaz and, as a result, it would be very difficult to trade Syndergaard. The New York Mets has entertained offers for Syndergaard, although they have never appeared particularly close to striking a deal.
Earlier this offseason, Jon Heyman of Fancred reported that at least a half-dozen teams were interested in the starter’s services. The San Diego Padres were one of the teams believed to be involved—dating back to last July—but they have also been unwilling to part with top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr., Mackenzie Gore, or Luis Urias, which made a deal fairly unlikely. While dangling Syndergaard on the trade market, the Mets have also expressed interest in trading for Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber and have been connected to several free agent starters, notably J.A. Happ and Gio Gonzalez.
Brodie Van Wagenen has already demonstrated a propensity for bold and outside-the-box thinking in his first month as Mets general manager. While a Syndergaard trade would certainly qualify as creative, it is also a risky and potentially disastrous move, which Richard Staff also argued in his piece. Syndergaard is coming off a season in which he made 25 started and posted a 3.03 ERA, a 2.80 FIP, and a 1.21 WHIP in 154.1 innings, which was good for a 4.2 fWAR. Syndergaard—who is under team control for three more seasons—finished 2018 with a 24.1% strikeout rate and a 6.1% walk rate.