As the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline rapidly approaches, the rumors surrounding Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard are starting to heat up.
As we detailed on Wednesday, Oakland could be a possible landing spot for the former All-Star if the Mets really decide to move him. ESPN's Buster Olney has now reported that rival teams believe New York does intend to trade Syndergaard before the deadline.
Rival evaluators say they believe the Mets are fully intent on dealing Noah Syndergaard before the trade deadline. "It's beyond listening," said one. "They want to move him."— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2019
It's hard not to be enamored with the talented 26-year-old. In five seasons with the Mets, Syndergaard has gone 44-27 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, striking out 699 batters in 645 innings.
Perhaps just as important, Syndergaard is only making $6 million this year and is under arbitration control for the next two seasons. This year has actually been a bit of a down season for Syndergaard -- his ERA is a career-worst 4.33 -- but that could be good news if it lowers his salary for next season.
So what would it cost the A's, in terms of a prospect package, to acquire Syndergaard? The Athletic's Marc Carig suggests the Mets will demand a top 30 overall prospect in addition to a couple of other "solid pieces."
Impression is that trading for Noah Syndergaard would require a top 30 prospect and a couple of other solid pieces, one rival exec said earlier today.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 25, 2019
According to MLB Pipeline, the A's only top 30 prospect is left-hander Jesús Luzardo, ranked number 13 overall. Fellow left-hander A.J. Puk is listed at number 33. A package for Syndergaard would likely have to start with one of the two southpaws.
Oakland would probably have to throw in a couple of additional quality prospects as well. Perhaps a Jorge Mateo or Sheldon Neuse would be required, along with a third lower-level prospect.
Clearly, the A's have the prospects to make this type of a trade, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should. Luzardo and Puk both have the potential to become aces at the major league level. Of course, that's not guaranteed, as we still haven't seen either make their big-league debut.
In Luzardo's case, injuries have been a problem this season. The 21-year-old suffered a strained left rotator cuff in spring training and recently sustained a lat strain during a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas. Luzardo also had Tommy John surgery back in 2016.
Puk underwent his own Tommy John surgery last year, but he hasn't suffered any setbacks this season. The 24-year-old appears to be nearing a call-up to the majors, where he will likely join the A's bullpen for the rest of the year.
The A's front office might struggle to part with Luzardo or Puk, even if it means adding Syndergaard. Oakland does have one other prospect near the top 30 on MLB Pipeline -- 24-year-old catcher Sean Murphy, ranked number 34. However, the A's have been extremely high on Murphy too and they consider him their catcher of the future.
These are the tough decisions baseball executives have to make this time of year. It will be very interesting to see Billy Beane and David Forst's approach. Stay tuned.