A report on Sunday claims the Mets have not even discussed the possibility of making super-prospect Noah Syndergaard one of its September callups. It is safe to ask whether the Mets are withholding Syndergaard for an off-season trade.
The New York Post says according to a team source, meetings have been held about which players will get called up and that Syndergaard hasn’t been mentioned as a possible candidate. While that seems highly unlikely, there is a chance the Mets fear exposing him in the majors, thus reducing his trade value.
Several reports say the Mets are willing to trade Syndergaard for Cubs shortstop prospect Addison Russell. If that is true, it makes sense not to allow Syndergaard to fail in the bigs. However, it would not make sense for the team to disparage Syndergaard, as Terry Collins did Saturday (likely at the behest of his lord and master, Sandy Alderson).
“You’ve got to be a little more consistent,” Collins said of Syndergaard. “He’s had some good games, but he’s had some rough games.”
It is true that Syndergaard is not lighting up Triple-A, going 8-7 with a 4.85 ERA, so maybe he is just not ready.
“We can all talk about Vegas and the ballpark, but he’s had some ups and downs,” Collins pointed out. “I think if he does get recalled, certainly the energy will help, and we all know he can throw hard. I just think that if you’re going to get a look you should get more than [a few] innings.”
Now, the Mets often speak out publicly against their own players, but that is when they want to force them out. Perhaps they want to downplay Syndergaard’s potential to the fans, but doing so before a trade would be counterproductive. Wait until the deal is done to do it.
On the other hand, Alderson’s legacy hinges on the success of players he has acquired, such as Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Vic Black and, yes, Noah Syndergaard. While he probably wants to see Syndergaard succeed with the Mets, perhaps Alderson thinks he can flip Syndergaard for someone even better.
Of course, this could all be about money and beginning Syndergaard’s career as late as possible. Knowing the Mets, that would not be impossible.
Whatever the reason, there is likely method to the Mets madness. We just will never know what it is.