Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets' primary focus at the moment is on a potential long-term extension for Jacob deGrom, but another one of their prized starters also appears open to a long-term deal. Enter Noah Syndergaard.
"Yeah, I think so," Syndergaard told NJ.com's Matt Ehalt on Sunday when asked about signing long-term. "I love being a Met, I love New York City, the fan base is great and has been very kind to me. I see kind of the routes the game is going with (Bryce) Harper and (Manny) Machado have still yet to sign, and it's kind of scary, honestly. It's definitely something different than I'm used to. Only time will tell."
While deGrom's extension deadline and a potential self-imposed innings limit if he doesn't get the extension has sent shockwaves through Mets camp ("Go out and pay deGrom," Syndergaard told Ehalt. "Give him what he's worth"), the easier play for the Mets would almost certainly be locking up Syndergaard.
And if the Mets do attempt to extend Syndergaard now, they can look at the recent extension Luis Severino signed with the Yankees as a bit of a roadmap.
Severino was about to head to an arbitration hearing when he signed the four-year deal worth $40 million with a team option for a fifth year. That deal bought out all four of his arbitration years and one year of free agency. He was expected to make roughly $5 million this season via arbitration.
Syndergaard is in his second year of arbitration -- under team control through the 2021 season -- and will make $6 million this season.
Here's how the 26-year-old Syndergaard and 24-year-old Severino -- who both debuted in 2015 -- have performed in the majors:
2.93 ERA (2.66 FIP), 1.13 WHIP, 9.95 K/9, 0.68 HR/9 in 518.1 innings pitched
3.51 ERA (3.38 FIP), 1.15 WHIP, 9.94 K/9, 1.04 HR/9 in 518 innings pitched
By every metric above, Syndergaard has been better than Severino, though when it comes to WHIP, strikeouts, and innings pitched, their output has been close to identical.
Still, Syndergaard has been better. And he's also excelled in the postseason with the Mets -- being largely dominant during the 2015 run to the World Series and completely dominant during their Wild Card game loss to the Giants and Madison Bumgarner in 2016.
Translation: Syndergaard should get more than Severino if he receives an extension, but it would still pale in comparison to what deGrom (who is one year closer to free agency and coming off one of the best seasons in the history of the sport) would get.
While Syndergaard getting an extension before deGrom would make for a strange optic, and while the Mets should be doing everything in their power to lock up both of them, there's an argument to be made that extending the younger Syndergaard would be the more prudent move.
The Mets currently have Syndergaard under team control through 2021. If they go a similar route to how the Yankees went with Severino, the Mets could buy out his final two years of arbitration and two free agent years, securing a team-friendly deal while at the same time giving Syndergaard a huge payday he wouldn't otherwise get until after the 2021 season.
At a time in baseball when players are openly angry about the unknown that awaits them when hitting free agency -- and with the Mets facing an uncertain future when it comes to their vaunted starting rotation -- a Syndergaard/Mets marriage at this point could make all the sense in the world for both sides.