Noah Syndergaard Trade Increasingly Likely; Blue Jays Among Teams With Interest

The Blue Jays are “making a play” for Angles starter Noah Syndergaard, tweets Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Blue Jays Nation’s Brendon Kuhn was first to report the club’s contact with the Halos. Jon Morosi of tweets that the Jays, Braves and previously-reported Phillies were among the teams with recent interest in Syndergaard, although he notes that Atlanta’s acquisition of Jake Odorizzi could take them out of the market.

Morosi suggests a Syndergaard trade before the 6:00pm EST deadline is becoming “more likely.” That’s not particularly surprising, as the 29-year-old has looked like a strong trade candidate for weeks. The Halos have fallen well out of playoff contention, and Syndergaard is an impending free agent. Los Angeles also couldn’t tag him with a qualifying offer next offseason. Syndgeraard received and rejected a QO from the Mets last year, and the collective bargaining agreement prohibits players from receiving a QO multiple times in their careers. Should the Angels hang onto the righty past the trade deadline, they could lose him to free agency for no compensation.

It seems likelier that general manager Perry Minasian and his staff will find a contender willing to relinquish some future considerations to add Syndergaard for the stretch run. He’s made 15 starts and worked 80 innings of 3.83 ERA ball. He doesn’t throw as hard or miss as many bats as he did during his early-career days with the Mets, but he’s a quality strike-thrower who induces a decent number of grounders. Syndergaard still looks like a solid mid-rotation arm whom some clubs could view as a possible Game 3 or Game 4 playoff starter.

Syndergaard is among the costlier options on the market, however. He signed a $21MM deal with the Halos last winter, and approximately $7.5MM of that tab has yet to be paid out. Perhaps the Angels will be willing to kick in some money to facilitate a trade, but if they’re insistent on an acquiring club picking up the remainder of the money, the prospect return could be fairly minimal.

The Cardinals landed José Quintana from the Pirates tonight, subtracting one of the more appealing rental arms from the market. It’s a rather thin group of impending free agent starters, particularly if the Red Sox and Giants elect to hold onto Nathan Eovaldi and Carlos Rodón, respectively. Beyond Syndergaard, perhaps the top remaining rental starter likely to change hands is Drew Smyly. Controllable arms who could be available in the hours leading up to the deadline include Tyler MahlePablo López and Zach Plesac.

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