Update: The Angels officially announced the signing Tuesday night.
The Angels have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with RHP Noah Syndergaard. pic.twitter.com/BBs7irtvUj— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) November 17, 2021
The first free agent domino for the Angels has fallen, as they have reportedly reached an agreement with right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard on a one-year, $21 million deal for the 2022 season.
BREAKING: Right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the Los Angeles Angels are in agreement on a one-year, $21 million deal, pending physical, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 16, 2021
The Angels bolster their staff with the highest-upside arm on the market — and pay a heavy price, plus a second-rounder.
The deal would top the qualifying offer he received of $18.4 million from the New York Mets and would cost the Angels their second-round pick in the 2022 MLB draft.
Syndergaard, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA in 718 innings with 777 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.16. An All-Star in 2016, the Texas native is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in baseball. Nicknamed “Thor”, he debuted with the Mets in 2015 after spending time in the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system and, until this point, had spent his entire big league career with New York.
The move provides a potential significant boost to an Angels rotation that is looking for serious upgrades this offseason, but does come with some risk.
Syndergaard has a troubling injury history and has only pitched two innings in the last two seasons. He missed time in 2017 with a partially torn lat muscle, 2018 with a strained finger ligament, missed all of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery, and shut down his 2021 season after a mid-May setback to avoid further inflammation.
In 2019, his last healthy season, Syndergaard threw a career-high 197.2 innings but posted a 4.28 ERA and allowed the most earned runs in the NL with 94 allowed.
Committing $21 million to Syndergaard could be a major cut into offseason spending budget, but how the Angels plan to proceed both in the free agent and trade markets remains to be seen. It is believed that the Halos are still in on other big name free agents. Meanwhile, the deal with Syndergaard is pending a physical.
Syndergaard would join a rotation that really only has three established starters heading into next season with Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez. As are most things during the offseason, that could be subject to change.
The move makes sense in that Syndergaard does provide an established, high-caliber arm to the rotation when healthy, but the dollar amount and injury risk ultimately make this a notable gamble in a very important offseason for the Angels.
Regardless, it appears the Angels may be willing to spend this offseason and it is incredibly unlikely this is the last move the team makes regarding rotation upgrades.