We did it! We did it! Everyone rejoice! The Dodgers have officially signed RHP Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal!
If you’re an avid reader of dodgersnation.com, an avid watcher of Dodgers Nation Youtube or an active follower of me on Twitter (@noahcamras), you’ve probably heard me mention the Dodgers signing RHP Noah Syndergaard this offseason.
Noah Syndergaard is a Los Angeles Dodger.
— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) December 14, 2022
I’ve been calling for it since the beginning of the offseason, and just this morning, wrote yet another article about why the Dodgers should sign him. The bad news, that article had to be scrapped. The good news, it had to be scrapped for a great reason. Noah Syndergaard is officially a Los Angeles Dodger.
Can confirm @JeffPassan’s report: The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Noah Syndergaard. It’s a one-year deal, a source tells The Athletic.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) December 14, 2022
All offseason long, I’ve been saying, if the Dodgers were to only make one move this offseason, I would hope it was for a starting pitcher. Before adding Syndergaard, there were many more questions than answers in their rotation.
Julio Urias is a sure thing. He’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last two seasons. But after him, the Dodgers would be relying on the oft-injured Tony Gonsolin, the unknown post-Tommy John surgery Dustin May and a soon-to-be 35-year-old Clayton Kershaw.
And with Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney officially gone, the Dodgers have a ton of innings to fill next season. Enter Noah Syndergaard.
In 2015 and 2016, Syndergaard, nicknamed Thor, was on course to become one of the best pitchers in baseball. He threw with power, was as filthy as anyone, and was a part of a strong Mets rotation that led them to the World Series in 2015. In 2016, Syndergaard was named an All-Star for the first and only time in his career.
Then, the injuries started to hit. In 2017, Syndergaard missed time with a partially torn lat muscle. In 2018, he missed time with a strained ligament in his right index finger. And then, in 2020, his injuries climaxed with a Tommy John surgery.
Pre-Tommy John, from 2015-2019, Syndergaard threw 1,241 pitches at 99 mph. The only player who threw more in that time was Aroldis Chapman.
Last season with the Angels and Phillies, Syndergaard’s four-seam fastball averaged 94.1 mph, while his sinker averaged 93.6 mph. At best, his fastball topped at 96-97 mph. Because of that dip in velocity, he suffered career-lows in whiff rate and strikeout percentage.
So you may be thinking, why should Dodger fans be excited about signing him?
Well first of all, I’m glad you asked. And second of all, let me tell you.
Syndergaard is still just 30-years-old, and will come at significantly less of a cost than the top pitchers on this volatile starter market (it’s now been reported he signed for $13 million with incentives, so, again, signficantly less than the top pitchers on the market). It’s also only a one-year deal, so there’s very little risk. Syndergaard also showed great improvements in his secondary pitches last year, something the Dodgers will help him even further enhance next season.
I like to think back to last season when the Dodgers took a flier on Tyler Anderson. Anderson had a career 4.62 ERA before coming to the Dodgers. Then he went through the Mark Prior school of pitching, and came out an All-Star. If Prior can take Anderson and Heaney and turn them into very effective starters, I’d love to see what he can do with a former All-Star like Syndergaard — and now we will get to.
Noah Syndergaard is by no means the splash that someone like Carlos Rodon is. I’m not expecting him to be a Cy Young candidate next season. But I do think Syndergaard will be a perfect pitcher to work with Mark Prior, and come out nearing his dominance from 2016.
After a month of begging, the Dodgers finally made the move I’ve been hoping for. Noah Syndergaard is a Dodger, and Noah Camras is very, very happy.
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