Rodric McGregor •
Angels, Noah Syndergaard reach 1-year, $21 million deal
On Tuesday the Halos agreed to a one-year $21 million deal with free agent righty Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard received an $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Mets last week; his deal with the Angels effectively rejects that offer. Consequently the Angels will forfeit a second round pick (and accompanying bonus pool amount) in next year's draft. The Mets will receive a compensation draft pick in next year’s draft after the completion of Competitive Balance Round B (usually in the no. 70 to 100 range).
Syndergaard, 29, missed all of 2020 and all but two games in 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery before Opening Day 2020. In addition to the Tommy John setback, he was also limited in 2017 to seven games due to a torn lat muscle and missed time in 2018 due to some ligament damage in his pitching hand. His injury record is the giant red flag on Syndergaard at present and the main reason he was available on a one-year deal.
For Noah Syndergaard this contract represents an opportunity to rebuild his value before he seeks a longer term contract in 2022. For the pitching starved Angels, they are betting on extracting as much value from one of the higher ceiling free agent starters on the market.
When Syndergaard, nicknamed Thor early in his Mets career due to his 6-foot-6 frame and flowing blonde locks, was healthy he was usually excellent and one of the best pitchers in the National League. Over 718 career innings spanning six seasons he has accumulated 777 strikeouts with a 3.32 ERA (Earned Run Average) and a career 18.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
Thor regularly combined above average ground ball rates, his career GB ratio of 49% is above league average, with a blistering fastball that averages out between 95-100mph and a nasty slider in the low 90mph. When Syndergaard was unable to generate the same movement and velocity on his slider in 2019 it coincided with his worst statistical season. The Angels will be hoping to rehabilitate the slider & fastball combo that made Thor such a menace on the mound for opposing hitters.
The Angels struck early on a deal before the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) talks between MLB and MLBPA are finalized, or not. Syndergaard will join Shohei Ohtani atop the Angels rotation for the time being, however due to the high risks involved with both pitching stars it would not be a surprise to see the Angels pursue a more reliable inning-eater to round out what has been one of the worst MLB starting rotations for about six years. Whether any pitchers will sign multi-year contracts before the 1 Dec CBA deadline that could lead to a league wide lockout remains to be seen.