In the first big news of the Mets’ offseason, Noah Syndergaard is leaving New York to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s a one-year, $21 million deal pending a physical, topping the value of the qualifying offer the Mets extended to the right hander, which would have been for one year at $18.4 million. There’s no word on whether the Mets made any further offers or not.
Originally drafted by the Blue Jays, Syndergaard was acquired along with Travis d’Arnaud and Wuilmer Becerra for R.A. Dickey in 2012. He debuted in 2015 and was electric almost immediately, rating as the 10th best pitcher by fWAR between 2015 and 2019 despite missing significant time with a handful of injuries (most notably a torn lat in 2017). He then underwent Tommy John surgery before the start of the 2020 season and while he was expected to return in 2021, he did not have a clean recovery. He was shut down at one point and was instructed not to throw breaking balls, and sat well below his usual velocity band during a brief cameo at the end of the year.
Because the Mets made a qualifying offer (while not receiving revenue sharing money), they’ll receive a draft pick between the second and third round in the 2022 draft. With Michael Conforto expected to sign elsewhere and the compensation pick for failing to sign Kumar Rocker, that sets whoever’s running baseball ops for an exciting draft. Perhaps that helps ease the sting of losing a fan favorite like Thor, at least a tad.