Mets' asking price high for potential Thor deal

July 27th, 2019

NEW YORK -- With five days until the July 31 Trade Deadline, it has become increasingly clear that the Mets intend to deal in what could be a franchise-altering trade. They simply have to find a team to match their price.

A source said on Friday that it’s “50-50” the Mets trade Syndergaard before the Deadline, noting they would need to acquire at least one significant piece close to the Majors -- likely a pitcher -- in their return package. The Padres, Braves, Astros and Yankees are among the clubs in pursuit, according to other sources.

General manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who has not spoken publicly in two weeks, did not respond to messages seeking comment about the Mets’ plans. Multiple sources said that any deal is unlikely to happen until close to the Deadline, as a small group of sellers waits out a larger group of buyers.

As an alternative to Syndergaard, the Mets are also still talking to teams about .

“We have good players. People want our players,” manager Mickey Callaway said on Friday. “And that’s a good thing. You just try to make sure it’s not a distraction and doesn’t hinder your performance when you’re out there, and live with the reality of it.”

Given the Mets’ desire for a big league-ready piece, the Padres and their overflowing farm system match up as well as anyone in a potential Syndergaard deal. San Diego controls eight of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects, leading one talent evaluator to muse, “You could probably toss a couple of those guys [in a trade] and they won’t miss [them].”

The evaluator specifically mentioned starting pitcher Luis Patino as a name worth targeting, though at 19 years old, Patino is not as close to the Majors as the Mets would want. 

The Braves also match up well given their plethora of starting pitchers on the cusp of the Majors -- most notably Kyle Wright, Kolby Allard and Ian Anderson. Wright or Allard could plug into the Mets’ rotation as soon as this season, giving them a ready-made replacement for Syndergaard. That’s attractive to a team still looking to compete in 2020.

For now, consider the Astros and Yankees longer shots. A source described the Astros as pessimistic about their chances to land Syndergaard, while many in the industry will believe a trade between the Mets and Yankees when they see it. Those two teams have not completed a swap of big league players since Felix Heredia and Mike Stanton changed uniforms in 2004.

A Syndergaard trade would be significantly more impactful to both franchises. Still with two years of control after this one, Syndergaard is 44-27 with a 3.21 ERA in 106 career starts. This season he has a 4.33 ERA, with 126 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings.

“I haven’t really had much of a discussion with the front office as far as the future of me being a Met,” Syndergaard said earlier this week. “But as of right now, I’m more than happy with where I’m at right now, and I look forward to continuing to put on this jersey.”