The New York Mets and Noah Syndergaard avoided arbitration on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $9.7 million, as first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. The right-hander will officially become a free agent following the 2021 season.
Syndergaard is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in March, forcing him to miss the entire 2020 season.
At 28 years old, he has plenty to prove ahead of his sixth season with the Mets after trudging through a career-worst 2019 campaign in which he went 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.234 WHIP.
There is the hope that the Tommy John surgery will correct any lingering issues that led to some of those struggles and that he truly fulfills the role of a reliable top-end starter who can stay healthy. From 2015-2018, he posted a 2.93 ERA but averaged just 22 starts per season.
With Syndergaard expected to return in June or July at the latest, he’ll be entering a rotation that currently is in flux. Marcus Stroman returned, but the Mets have been linked with the likes of Trevor Bauer to anchor behind Jacob deGrom while looking for another mid-rotation arm like Jake Odorizzi, Masahiro Tanaka, or possibly Japanese star Tomoyuki Sugano.
Once he gets the green light to return, the Mets could be looking at one of the deepest, most potent rotations in baseball.