Noah Syndergaard
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Thor open to coming back — if the Mets will have him. 

Tab Bamford

Noah Syndergaard took the mound at Citi Field for the first time in two years on Tuesday night.

He looked like the dominant version of himself that Mets fans fell in love with before a series of injuries and setbacks kept him off the mound since the shutdown last year.

Starting the second game of the doubleheader, Syndergaard pitched one inning, He struck out two batters and didn’t allow a baserunner. Nine of the 10 pitches he threw were strikes.

This came on the same day the Mets officially shut down Jacob deGrom for the season. So it was good news on a rough news day for Mets fans.

But Syndergaard’s comments about his future were as interesting as his performance on the mound.

Staying?

Syndergaard is a free agent at the end of the season (next week). Missing almost two full seasons because of injuries isn’t helping his value on the open market.

He had Tommy John surgery during the COVID-abbreviated Spring Training last year, ending his 2020 season before it began. His plan was to be back in June; he made a couple rehab starts with the Mets’ minor league affiliates. But a sore elbow in late May was his first setback.

When he thought he was close to returning to the mound this season, a positive test for COVID-10 in late August (even though he is vaccinated) pushed his return back even further.

He loves the Mets and their fans, though. And he made it clear he would like to be back — if the Mets will have him.

The Mets have a number of tough financial decisions to make this offseason, including Marcus Stroman and Javier Baez. They also have plenty of needs to address; the team will watch the playoffs from home again this season despite being in first place for most of the regular season.

A qualifying offer may be too expensive for the Mets’ to consider because of the other needs of the team. But maybe a one-year, prove-it deal would work for Syndergaard to show the Mets he can dominate for a full season?