There was a rumor reported on Saturday that the Mets might be looking to deal Noah Syndergaard to the Padres just to turn that bounty around to acquire Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Regardless if they both get basically dealt for each other, the pair are each on the market. This seems like a perfect time to analyze which has more value.
Ironically, both hurlers were drafted in the first round by Toronto. While Stroman was drafted two years after Syndergaard, the latter is two years younger because he was selected out of high school and Stroman attended Duke. Because of this college experience, Stroman advanced much more rapidly than Syndergaard did, debuting almost a full year earlier.
While this means that Stroman has an extra year of experience, it also means that he will reach free agency first. While this does not really matter to the Mets, because the deal would be to extend Stroman as well, other teams looking to make a deal for one of these two would likely value that extra year of team control.
Looking at their production on the field, the two are very similar. Syndergaard boasts a career 13 WAR. Stroman sits at 13.4. Again, that is with an extra year of experience for Stroman, so advantage Syndergaard. The ERA column also favors Syndergaard, as he has a 3.21 career ERA, with Stroman at 3.76. However, Stroman does pitch in the American League and the powerful AL East. So maybe that is just a wash. The WHIP stat also favors Syndergaard at 1.158 to 1.278. Stroman also walks more hitters, with a BB/9 rate of 2.5, to Syndergaard’s 2.1.
Now to the stats that heavily favor one of the pitchers over the other. Syndergaard has a much higher strikeout rate than Stroman. Syndergaard has a 9.8 K/9, while Stroman is only at 7.2. Stroman is a bit more of a workhorse, working over six innings per start. That could be looked as a positive or a negative. With Stroman, he is going to work deeper into games, but it also means that he has more wear put on his arm before a long-term deal.
A couple aspects that the Mets might be looking at to choose Stroman over Syndergaard is the tough 2019 campaign the Mets hurler is having and durability. However, both of those seem ill-conceived as well. Sure, Syndergaard has an inflated 4.33 ERA this season. Stroman had a really inflated 5.54 ERA last season.
Syndergaard has only made 52 starts in the last three season, which could be cause for alarm when trying to lock up a pitcher long-term. Stroman only made four starts in 2015 after recovering from a torn ACL and then only 19 last season. While it is not always fair to look at a pitcher’s stature, Stroman is only 5-foot-7 and listed as 180 pounds. For as much torque and velocity as he generates, breaking down long-term could be an issue as well.
While it is clear why the Mets would want to sell high on Syndergaard, with the franchise being lost in so many different aspects of future outlook for success, what is not evident is why they would rather extend Stroman than him. Sure, Stroman was born in the area, but nearly all of the elements that need to be analyzed to predict success moving forward favor Syndergaard. That is not a rip on Stroman, as he is a very strong pitcher and would be a great acquisition for anyone, but Syndergaard just appears better.