Noah Syndergaard makes his return to Citi Field Friday night as a member of the Phillies. The former Mets right-hander was recently traded from the Los Angeles Angels to Philadelphia at the MLB Trade Deadline.
Syndergaard departed Queens to join the Angels this past offseason after a long tenure with the Mets that began with a 2015 MLB debut. Although he only pitched 2.0 combined innings from 2020-21 due to a torn UCL, which required Tommy John surgery. The Mets offered Syndergaard a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, but he signed a one-year, $21 million deal with L.A. instead.
He spoke to the media just hours prior to Friday’s game, putting into perspective his departure from New York.
“[I knew I wasn’t coming back to the Mets] probably close to the [qualifying offer] deadline. That was such a long time ago,” Syndergaard said. “I’m having a hard time remembering what was going through my head. It was only a one-year deal [with the Angels]. It wasn’t like I signed for 10 years with the Yankees. So I just needed a little break.”
I understand “little break” may suggest that Thor could wish to return to the Mets in the future, when he’ll have hopefully been healthy for some time.
But don’t even think about it — Syndergaard is not returning to Queens. Not in 2023. Not ever.
Steve Cohen inherited Syndergaard and his proneness to injury and decided to end the marriage after his first full season as the team’s majority owner. The aggressive (and extremely rich) Cohen is trying to build a contender in Queens and won’t waste money on a guy who’s dealt with various injuries and hasn’t had a full-season ERA below 3.00 since 2016, when he pitched to a 2.60 ERA across 31 appearances (30 starts).
Cohen isn’t getting the band back together even if Jacob deGrom leaves in the offseason (hopefully the Mets can re-sign him, but at the right price). The organization would be much better off retaining the likes of Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt while acquiring a reliable arm who can stay healthy in the offseason, with Max Scherzer still under contract through the 2024 season.