The San Diego Padres are interested in New York Mets’ starter Noah Syndergaard, but the trade fit isn’t as good as it seems.
The New York Mets are approaching the July 31 trade deadline looking like they could be sellers again. They enter play on Sunday sitting at 45-53, and while they sit only 6.0 games out of the second wild-card spot, they need to jump over eight teams to snag that spot.
One name that has been kicked around since last season is starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The San Diego Padres have long coveted the big right-hander, and view him as a “prime target,” per Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required).
The Padres have eight prospects on MLB.com’s top 100 list, making them a seemingly great fit to make the Mets an offer that overwhelms them. However, a deeper dive into the Padres prospect pool suggests that they aren’t actually great trade fits.
Firstly, the Mets would be selling low on Syndergaard, whose 4.36 ERA is significantly worse than his 3.68 FIP. Both numbers are also the worst of his career, and he has the highest WHIP (1.22) of his career as well. Syndergaard’s trade value is currently as low as it’s ever been despite the high likelihood that he will be better moving forward.
If the Mets are interested in trading Syndergaard, which they probably aren’t, it behooves them to wait until his value is higher. However, if they get blown away, they could consider a trade of Syndergaard. That said, it’s unlikely that the Padres will blow them away.
The Padres have an excellent farm system, but one way that a team builds a good farm system is by keeping prospects unless they feel they’re getting a clear win in a trade. If the Mets need to be blown away, it stands to reason that the Padres won’t get a clear win.
Mackenzie Gore and Luis Urias, the No. 3 and 19 prospects in baseball, respectively, are likely off the table. The Padres are unlikely to trade Gore for anybody. Urias has been floated as a possible trade, but it’s doubtful that the Padres are interested in trading a top 20 infield prospect for a pitcher who has struggled some with injuries and is in the midst of a down year.
ESNY’s own Teddy Rydquist suggested a deal that would see the Mets acquire lefties Adrian Morejon, Ryan Weathers and shortstop Owen Miller for Syndergaard. While landing two top-10 prospects and another mid-tier prospect would help the farm system, there are concerns with the main parts of the return.
Morejon, the Padres number four prospect, has struggled with injuries since coming to the Padres from Cuba, never pitching more than 65.1 innings in a season, and his 16 appearances thus far this season is a career-high. Pitchers struggling to stay healthy at such a young age is a red flag, especially when you consider the Mets track record with keeping players healthy.
Does the team really want to risk trading a piece like Syndergaard for a pitcher who’s already struggled to stay healthy? It doesn’t seem to be the most prudent decision for a team hoping to contend next season.
Weathers, San Diego’s No. 6 prospect, is a 19-year-old with upside, but he is also only in Single-A. The Mets, with an MLB-ready core of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Jacob deGrom, are going to be interested in pieces that are close to the MLB. Weathers figure to need another season and a half or more at a minimum in the minors before he is ready to step into the MLB.
Weathers likely isn’t the type of overwhelming player that the Mets desire in order to move on from Syndergaard. RHP Luis Patino (number three Padres prospect), is in the same boat as Weathers, as he’s in High-A ball.
The Padres’ prospect group is impressive, and every MLB team would like to have it, but there are no sure things in that group outside of the ones that the Padres are unlikely to move. Syndergaard is too good of a player to be moved for a question mark and the Mets have too good of a core to commit to a rebuild.
Simply put, the Padres and Mets aren’t good trade partners, despite the big names in the Padres’ farm system.