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Cubs free agent target: Noah Syndergaard

He’s not what he used to be, but he could still be useful.

Set Number: X164226 TK1

Noah Syndergaard. Thor. Once thought of as one of the best pitchers in baseball. A No. 1 pick (38th overall) of the Blue Jays in 2010, traded to the Mets for the reigning Cy Young winner (R.A. Dickey), then posting several good seasons in New York, even while missing much of 2017 with a lat injury.

Then there was Tommy John surgery. He didn’t pitch at all in 2020 and made only two late-season appearances in 2021.

Signed by the Angels as a free agent before 2022, Thor made 15 decent starts in Anaheim before being traded to the Phillies, where he didn’t do much in the regular season. In four postseason appearances for Philadelphia, he walked one and struck out eight in 8⅓ innings.

Even with all that, his 2022 season was worth 1.8 bWAR, which isn’t terrible.

His K rate is down, but he still has very good control and doesn’t walk guys. Fangraphs rates him No. 27 in their Top 50 Free Agents and says of Syndergaard:

He smartly abandoned his diminished four-seamer as the year went on in favor of a sinker that didn’t produce any extra whiffs but was hard to hit, with a .284 wOBA and run value of -10, per Statcast. His slider boasts more dip than run now, too; Syndergaard seems to have embraced fishing for weak contact instead of hunting for swings and misses.

That seems like someone who might be useful in the middle of a rotation. Fangraphs suggests that he might get a two-year deal at $12 million per year, but I think that’s too much. For someone like this — even though at 30 he still could recover some of his previous form — I’d probably offer a one-year deal at around $9 million with a second-year team option at $13 million with a $1 million buyout. That way if he’s any good, he gets paid in the second year; if not, the team doesn’t lose too much.

What say you?


Noah Syndergaard...

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a contract like the one proposed in the article above
    (259 votes)
  • 17%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a contract like the one proposed by Fangraphs
    (106 votes)
  • 17%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but see if they can get him for less money than either of the above proposals
    (106 votes)
  • 23%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (146 votes)
  • 0%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (6 votes)
623 votes total Vote Now