With the addition of Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets, does the plan for Noah Syndergaard change?
It’s all official; Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz will play for the 2019 New York Mets. No one should believe the Mets are done with making moves. I expect many more teams to try and pry away their players in the coming weeks.
Noah Syndergaard is the one major league player on the block with some heavy value. Finalizing this deal for Cano and Diaz likely suggests he’ll stay in New York, but guarantees nothing.
After losing in the 2009 World Series, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made a bold offseason move. He traded Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners on the same day he acquired Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays. Rather than make a run in 2010 with a pair of aces, he decided to go in a different direction.
Amaro Jr. is now in the Mets’ front office and hopefully not about to make the same mistake. Lee did return to the Phillies in 2011 as a free agent. Although they didn’t win a championship, it was clear that subtracting star talent while adding at the same time hurt their chances when the team was at its best.
In his advisory role to Brodie Van Wagenen, I hope Amaro Jr. keeps this mistake in mind. The Mets are now in win-now mode with an elite young closer on the roster and a pricey infielder who can still play baseball. Cano, for as upset as some are with his presence on the team, has diesel left in the tank. Now is not the time to trade Syndergaard. They need to build around him.
The Mets gave up their 2018 first-round pick Jarred Kelenic in this trade and top pitching prospect Justin Dunn. What they added were pieces to help the franchise win in 2019 and 2020. I’ll call these seasons the “Guaranteed Jacob deGrom Years.”
The next two seasons are the window where the Mets must win. Cano will undoubtedly slow down by 2021 and face the jeers Jay Bruce would have if he stuck around in 2019 and 2020.
You didn’t come here for any of that, though. You want to know what happens with Syndergaard.
I’m doubtful anyone blows the Mets away with the haul they want in return for their Norse God. While they could go the route Amaro Jr. did with the Phillies and deal Syndergaard then bring another guy in via free agency, it’s just not reasonable.
Syndergaard is young, affordable, and familiar. During these Guaranteed Jacob deGrom Years, he’s in the front seat with this team and should stay there. The only match in a trade for him would be a team with an excess at one position the Mets need to upgrade. I don’t see a team out there that fits.
Tweener moves don’t work in baseball. You need to commit to winning or rebuilding. As upset as some are with Kelenic and Dunn leaving the organization, at least they’ve, thus far, told us they plan to contend in 2019.
If they can continue to show this, Syndergaard stays and we can prepare for a better year.