Phillies among teams named as suitors for Noah Syndergaard at trade deadline
Somehow, their needs are eerily similar to the ones on their offseason checklist last fall: outfield help and pitching. Another bullpen arm certainly wouldn’t hurt, but they really need to look for another starting pitcher. Zach Eflin is sidelined once again with a knee injury, and he’s not progressing as expected. While interim manager Rob Thomson said Eflin’s knee isn’t “worse,” it’s also not better. With no timetable for his return, the Phillies need to think about finding someone to fill his spot in the rotation.
Could a former National League East rival be the answer?
This week, the Phillies landed on a list of potential trade destinations for Noah Syndergaard.
After spending his entire big-league career with the New York Mets, Syndergaard signed a lucrative one-year, $21M deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2022 season. Despite often being overshadowed by his Cy Young repeat-winning rotation-mate Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard was one of the brightest talents in New York. Before missing the entire 2020 season and most of 2021 recovering from Tommy John, Syndergaard had a career 3.31 ERA over 119 games, with 775 strikeouts over 716 innings.
This season, Syndergaard has a 4.00 ERA over 14 starts, with 58 strikeouts and 20 walks issued across 74 1/3 innings. While he’s gone six or more innings in six of his starts, he’s struggled to limit runs, making just one scoreless start and allowing three or more runs six times. The Angels are 5-9 in his games, though the way they play, you can’t place all of the blame on him.
Returning from Tommy John and joining a new team could also factor into Syndergaard’s struggles. He may feel more comfortable back in the familiar confines of his old division, even if it’s with a different team. What’s concerning is that his career numbers against division rivals aren’t particularly strong; he’s struggled against the division. Over 10 career starts against the Atlanta Braves, their batters hit .272/.318/.408 with a .726 OPS. His numbers at Nationals and SunTrust Parks are far from encouraging. And of course, he’s never faced the Mets, and they’re quite familiar with his strengths and weaknesses. Not ideal for the Phillies, who need to keep pace with the Braves in order to remain in the Wild Card race.
Of course, the Angels will have plenty of suitors for the man known as Thor. The Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston Red Sox are also potential landing spots. There’s no guarantee the Phils could even land Syndergaard.
But forget about all that, Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler on the Phillies? Mets fans’ heads might explode.