At the time of writing this article, the Blue Jays are holding down the second Wild Card position and are in a tight race with two division rivals in the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Although the Jays have had their struggles so far in the season, you cannot deny that the club is having a playoff calibre start to the year. However, going forward the team needs to improve in certain areas, primarily in the starting rotation and the bullpen.
In the rotation, Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah both have given all fans and management the confidence they can produce at front of the group. The two have combined to post a 15-8 record over 29 starts, while pairing up with a 2.49 ERA. Ross Stripling has been impressive since moving into the rotation full-time on June 6 as he has posted a 3-1 record over five starts with a 1.75 ERA, and while I am enjoying his success, I am not ready to anoint him as the third starter. Ideally, Stripling falls in as the fifth guy in a rotation. Jose Berrios has had a rocky road this season as he has looked dominant in outings, but also horrific in others. I really think at some point he will figure it out and at worst be a middle of the rotation starter. I am not going to get into Yusei Kikuchi, I was surprised when they signed him to a three-year deal for $36 Million. Flat out, the Blue Jays need another top line starter.
What player that keeps coming to mind is former Blue Jays prospect Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard is currently on a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels for $21 Million and becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 season. What brings extra intrigue between the Blue Jays and Syndegaard is that SI.Com reported this past winter that according to Jeff Passan the now 29-year old was really close to signing with Toronto during this past off-season.
For those unaware, Syndergaard was a former compensation pick (38th overall) by the Blue Jays back in 2010 as the club was unable to sign James Paxton from the draft the year prior. After being selected by Toronto, Syndergaard immediately climbed through the system and was part of a strong crop of Blue Jays pitching prospects desired by many other clubs. Prior to Syndergaard reaching the majors with the Jays he was traded to the New York Mets in one of the worst deals in team history, but that trade breakdown is for another time.
Since leaving Toronto, Syndergaard went on to post a 9-7 record in his 2015 rookie season that led to him finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, and he followed that up with a 14-9 record in 2016 that had him finish with votes for both the NL Cy Young and NL MVP, as well as an appearance in the All-Star Game. Through his first five seasons with the Mets, Syndergaard posted a 47-30 record with a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, however, his career got sidetracked after he required Tommy John surgery at the beginning of 2020. The towering right-handed pitcher made two one-inning appearances at the end of the 2021 campaign. When the season ended the Mets extended Syndergaard an $18.4 Million qualifying offer, but he decided to walk away from his former team. Syndergaard would instead sign a one-year deal with the Angels.
When Syndergaard signed on with the Angels, he became another high profile player that would try and help Mike Trout find the postseason. In five of his 12 outings this season, Syndergaard has provided a quality start and has added three other appearances of pitching into the sixth inning and allowing two or less runs.
In 2010, the Blue Jays drafted Noah Syndergaard, and in 2012 they traded him to the New York Mets. In 2022, it is time to bring him back to the organization.
The Angels are having another rough season in 2022 that led to Joe Maddon being fired after the club found themselves two games under .500 through 56 games this year. They have also lost Anthony Rendon for the season and have been without David Fletcher since early May, and he does not project to return until sometime in July. As of June 28, the Angels are third in the AL West, a full 12 games behind first place and another six games from the last Wild Card team. Los Angeles may becoming very close to starting to plan for next season.
The Angels had to give up their 75th overall pick to the Mets for signing Syndergaard and may try to look to recoup an asset. The question is what would the Blue Jays have to give up to get Syndergaard? Toronto currently sits with picks #77 and #78 as compensation picks for losing Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray; and there could be the potential of finding a deal with somewhat similar value given the extra picks in hand. With only a half a season left, the Blue Jays may be able to get a deal on Syndergaard.
If you were the Blue Jays would you go after Noah Syndegaard?