Right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. The 30-year-old Syndergaard is expected to join the Dodgers' starting rotation.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 14, 2022
The Dodgers have not yet announced the deal, but Syndergaard tweeted this on Wednesday afternoon:
Syndergaard will look for the kind of years Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney had for the Dodgers in 2022. Both earned $8.5 million last season, and this offseason signed deals for three years, $39 million and two years, $25 million, respectively. For Syndergaard, he’ll look for a rebound three years removed from Tommy John surgery in 2020.
The right-hander had a 3.94 ERA and 4.43 xERA in 25 games, including 24 starts for the Angels and Phillies in 2022 after pitching only two innings for the Mets over the previous two seasons. Syndergaard in 2022 had by far the lowest strikeout rate of his career (16.8 percent), well below his 26.4-percent mark prior to that.
Syndergaard made $21 million last season with the Angels and Phillies.
Syndergaard’s two-seam fastball averaged 93.6 mph last season, four ticks below his average (97.5 mph) in 2019, his last full season before Tommy John surgery. But he’s not a one-pitch pitcher, also using a four-seam fastball, slider, changeup, and curve. Eno Sarris at The Athletic rated Syndergaard’s command of each pitch as better than average.
Pitchers with five+ pitches they command better than average (by Location+):— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) December 13, 2022
Joe Musgrove (6)
From 2015-19 with the Mets, Syndergaard had a 3.31 ERA with 775 strikeouts in 719 innings. Whether the Dodgers can tap into anything close to that from the now-30-year-old pitcher remains to be seen.
Syndergaard joins a rotation that includes Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May. The Dodgers have Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, and probably Andre Jackson at the ready to start if needed on the 40-man roster. Prospects Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone will likely see time in the majors at some point in 2023, after ending 2022 in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers needed rotation depth to bridge some of that gap with the group of younger pitchers, and also to deal with inevitable injuries that pop-up during the season. Anderson last season, for instance, began the year in the bullpen but ended up leading the Dodgers in innings pitched.