If the San Francisco Giants decide to buy at the trade deadline, controllable starting pitching figures to be high up on the wish list.
The San Francisco Giants have played their way into the wild-card race during the month of July and that has completely changed their deadline outlook.
With the MLB trade deadline now less than a week away, it’s time to fire up the rumor mill and buckle up, because it’s going to be one heck of a ride.
One of the biggest stories on Thursday was a report that the New York Mets are not only willing to listen to offers for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, but are actively trying to trade him.
That was followed by another report that the San Francisco Giants are now unlikely to trade ace Madison Bumgarner, and could instead end up being buyers. At just 3.5 games back in the NL wild-card standings, it makes sense that they would at least explore the idea of adding pieces.
If the San Francisco Giants do become buyers at the deadline, they will likely be looking for controllable assets, not just two-month rentals. Syndergaard fits the bill, and while there has been no indication that the Giants have any interest, it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of trading for him.
First off, Syndergaard is only 26 years old and is under team control through the 2021 season. For his career, Syndergaard is 44-27 with a 3.21 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
During his rookie season in 2015, Syndergaard helped the Mets reach the World Series. It was a season in which he went 9-7 with 3.24 ERA while recording 166 strikeouts in 150 innings. The following year, he finished eighth in NL Cy Young voting, finishing third in the NL in ERA (2.60) and tied for fourth in strikeouts (218).
In 2017, Syndergaard tore a muscle in his torso and started just seven games. Last year, he started 25 games and finished with an ERA of 3.03.
This season he’s been inconsistent, but his stuff has not diminished. His ERA is high because of a terrible start to the season. In April, he had three straight starts that he gave up five runs or more, and he finished the month with a 6.43 ERA.
In his last seven starts, he has an ERA of 3.43 and has recorded 45 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. In one of those starts, he pitched seven innings of one-hit ball against the Colorado Rockies.
Simply put, when he’s at his best, he’s one of the most overpowering starters in baseball.
It should come as no surprise that the cost to acquire Syndergaard is going to be steep.
According to the latest leaguewide Top 100 rankings from Baseball America, the San Francisco Giants top prospects rank as follows:
- No. 18: C Joey Bart
- No. 67: OF Heliot Ramos
- No. 70: SS Marco Luciano
- No. 98: OF Hunter Bishop
In that context, Bart would have to be the centerpiece of a trade for Syndergaard in order for a top 30 prospect to be included, and the Giants would need to pad out the package from there with other quality young pieces.
That’s an incredibly steep price to pay for a team that has worked hard to rebuild its far system in the past year.
There’s no harm in picking up the phone and inquiring on what a Noah Syndergaard deal might look like, but for a San Francisco Giants team that is still building toward the future, parting with Joey Bart or any other top-tier prospects should be a non-starter.
We shall see in the days to come whether Noah Syndergaard is on the move and whether the San Francisco Giants will be making any significant additions to the roster.