The New York Mets were expected to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline, but the team’s deal to land Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman may actually be part of a larger plan to get a bigger return for ace Noah Syndergaard.
On Sunday, the Mets completed a deal sending pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson to Toronto in exchange for the right-hander. The deal sparked some speculation that the Mets may be trying to thin out the pitching market so that Syndergaard or fellow starter Zack Wheeler may have more value.
That was an idea raised on Twitter by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, who thought that the Mets gained themselves a bit of an edge by preemptively taking Stroman off the market.
CBS Sports noted that the Mets are still likely to move Syndergaard, who is under contract through the 2020 season. The report noted that the Mets have been in talks with the San Diego Padres for Syndergaard, though Stroman was initially mentioned as a target as part of a three-team deal, so it is unclear how the situation may have changed since Sunday’s deal.
As the report added, the Mets may still have some interest in getting a deal done with the Padres and have their sights set on some of the team’s top prospects.
“Joel Sherman tweets that the Mets have discussed infield prospect Luis Urias with the Padres. Reportedly, the Mets would then flip Urias,” the report noted. “With Stroman in tow, it’s possible the Mets look elsewhere on the Padres roster for help.”
Mets may have gotten a little bargaining edge by getting Stroman in a sellers’ market. They have 2 of the better starters on a thin market in Syndergaard and Wheeler. No guarantee it’s Noah that goes; could be either one.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 29, 2019
There has reportedly been plenty of other interest in Noah Syndergaard, particularly from the New York Yankees. The Mets’ crosstown rival has reportedly coveted the ace for some time, with reports going back to last year that the Yankees were interested in a trade for Syndergaard.
The Yankees' No. 1 target is Noah Syndergaard, and they will reportedly give up just about anyone to get him.https://t.co/7nEVUravwV
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) July 25, 2019
But the New York Mets would likely have a higher asking price for the Yankees, with reports that the team had been wary of sending its act uptown where he could lead the Yankees to a World Series title.
The Mets could also prioritize trading Zack Wheeler, who is set to become a free agent after this season unlike Syndergaard, who is under team control through 2020. Some believe that the Stroman trade shows that the Mets are committed to trying to win next season, which would seem to make the team more likely to hold onto Syndergaard at least through this offseason.