Syndergaard, a 29 year old righthander, was expected to accept the $18.4 million qualifying offer tendered to him by the New York Mets, given that he missed all of 2020 and most of 2021 due to Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard logged just eight innings over five games between the minors and majors in 2021 in his return from TJS, and the thought was that he would take the one year deal, show he was healthy, and re-enter the market after 2022.
The Angels, however, were willing to trump the qualifying offer amount on a one year deal — a decision that will also cost the Angels their second round draft pick. Its a fairly high-risk signing for a team that won just 77 games in 2021 and may not contend in 2022. That said, the Angels’ starting rotation was their biggest weakness, and a healthy Syndergaard who is back to his old form would give them one of the best starters in baseball at the front of their rotation.
That said, its an open question whether Syndergaard can get back to where he was pre-injury, and if he can stay on the mound if he does. He made only seven starts in 2017 and 25 starts in 2018, and in 2019, while he made 32 starts, he put up a 4.28 ERA and a 3.60 FIP — not bad, but also not what you’d expect from one of the best starters in baseball.
This is a great situation, meanwhile, for Syndergaard — he gets a big payday on a one year deal, gets to live in Southern California for a year, and then can re-enter the market next offseason, with a new CBA in place.