With Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel now free agents, the Houston Astros are in serious need of another quality arm in their starting rotation. Youngster Lance McCullers will also miss all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery, so Houston needs to make some moves for pitchers.
There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Noah Syndergaard returning to his home state to play for the Astros, but it would be an outstanding move for Houston if they could somehow string together a deal. With Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole headlining Houston’s rotation, adding another elite arm like Syndergaard would make the Astros an automatic contender once again in 2019.
Noah Syndergaard Would Be a Perfect Fit for the Houston Astros
How “Thor” could help Houston
When we look at Cole and Verlander, you have two electric arms who comfortably sit in the mid- to high-90s with quality off-speed stuff as well. Add in Syndergaard to this rotation, and you immediately have the most talented rotation in all of baseball.
Thor has turned into one of the best pitchers in baseball over his four-year tenure in the big leagues with the New York Mets. He flaunts a career 2.93 ERA, striking out 573 hitters in just 518 innings pitched. Last season, Syndergaard had a 13-4 record with a 3.03 ERA. The former All-Star is drawing interest from several teams, most recently the Cincinnati Reds. Even if the Astros had to give up several prospects for Syndergaard, it could be worth it. Right now, Verlander and Cole are the only two guarantees in the rotation for 2019. Keuchel and Morton aren’t likely to resign, and McCullers is out for a while as mentioned above.
Giving up prospects shouldn’t be a worry
Nathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ are the most recent targets for the Astros in free agency, which would both be great acquisitions that could fit very nicely into their rotation. Meanwhile, the Mets are going to want a lot in return in order to actually part ways with their star flamethrower.
Houston has enough young players on their major league roster that giving up prospects in a deal for Syndergaard shouldn’t be a worry. Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman aren’t even 25-years-old. George Springer is in his prime. Jose Altuve is still young and playing outstanding baseball. The Astros youth is one of their biggest strengths. If they want to add another electric starter, they will have to sacrifice some prospects. However, it would not really affect them.
Cole and Verlander are perfect examples of big-time arms who came to Houston and saw tons of success. Why wouldn’t Syndergaard want to be traded to a serious contender? The Mets are a ways off from being a playoff team again. The Astros have basically an identical roster from an offensive standpoint minus Marwin Gonzalez. The only missing pieces are those three starting pitchers, but knowing the Astros, they will find quality replacements.
A franchise-changing arm
When healthy, Syndergaard is definitely one of the top five starting pitchers in baseball. His triple-digit heater that has eye-popping movement is practically unhittable. Add in a 90-mph slider and knee-buckling curveball and it’s understandable why so many organizations are vying for Thor right now. He’s owed just $5.9 million in 2019 with two years of arbitration remaining after next season before free agency. That’s a pretty huge bargain for the Astros if they acquired Syndergaard considering the type of caliber pitcher he is.
With the Mets so high on Syndergaard, they could even try and get a player like Alex Bregman in return. If that was the case, it is highly doubtful Houston would be willing to part ways with their star third basemen. But if it was just prospects on the table, Houston would be making a fantastic deal to bring Syndergaard to the Astros.
It will be very interesting to see if Noah Syndergaard remains a New York Met or gets traded to another team for 2019. Whatever organization he ends up with, Thor will immediately make their rotation better.
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