While the general public awaits the decisions of free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard is the highest-profile player connected to trade rumors. The 26-year-old flamethrower has battled injuries over the past two seasons, but remains one of the game's most feared arms and is an ace by any reasonable standard. Whether or not the Mets should trade Syndergaard is a robust debate, but the SI.com staff opted for a lighter approach and envisioned trades that could be completed for the burly righty. A note that these trade proposals are not rumored or sourced ... they're simply suggestions of what each writer thinks would be wise for the Mets.
Tom Verducci: Mets trade SP Noah Syndergaard to Dodgers for SS Corey Seager
The Mets are foolish if they think they can trade Noah Syndergaard and A) contend next season and B) win the trade. He throws strikes, he keeps the ball in the ballpark and he’s heading into his prime with almost the same career numbers through 87 games (37–22, 2.93, 116 walks, 573 strikeouts) as did Jacob deGrom (34–24, 2.89, 146, 584) and Stephen Strasburg (33–23, 2.99, 142, 594). But if you want a fantasy trade, the Mets should only move Syndergaard if they get a middle-of-the-order hitter with years of control. My pick would be Corey Seager of the Dodgers, as long as the medicals continue to show he is on track to recover from elbow and hip surgeries. Seager, like Syndergaard, has three years of control. Think of it as an updated version of Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields 25 years ago.
Stephanie Apstein: Mets trade SP Noah Syndergaard to Padres for OF Franchy Cordero, C Francisco Meijia and pitching prospects
The Padres would be a good fit from a competitive-cycle perspective: They believe they are only a piece or two away from contention, but they are still early enough in their rebuild to be flush with young talent. And GM A.J Preller, who gave eight years and $144 million to then-28-year-old first baseman Eric Hosmer, is unafraid of big moves. San Diego has reportedly discussed moving outfielder Manuel Margot, catcher Austin Hedges and pitching prospects; that seems light to me. The Padres have a younger upgrade at each of those positions in Franchy Cordero and Francisco Meijia, respectively—swap one of them in and I could imagine this going through.
Gabriel Baumgaertner: Mets trade SP Noah Syndergaard to Dodgers for OF Yasiel Puig, Util Kiké Hernández, SP Yadier Alvarez and one B/C prospect
Let me echo the sentiments of Tom Verducci: the Mets would be foolish to trade Syndergaard. But if new GM Brodie Van Wagenen is intent on trading the flamethrowing righty and securing MLB talent in return, the Dodgers should be near the top of his list. First? Van Wagenen should call the Yankees and demand Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and two other A-/B+ prospects in return. Once GM Brian Cashman rejects that trade, Van Wagenen should call Los Angeles, where there's a logjam of MLB talent in the infield, outfield and on the bench.
Throughout the 2018 playoffs, the Dodgers only had two regular starters: third baseman Justin Turner and shortstop Manny Machado. Every other player was subject to matchup plays including home run leaders Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy. Playoff teams are likely to coalesce when a championship is the prize, but players like Bellinger, Muncy, Puig, Hernández, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson want to be playing every day. That means the team president Andrew Friedman is probably inclined at least one of them (excluding Bellinger) to bolster the starting pitching staff. My guess is that Friedman finally moves Puig, who is due to hit free agency in 2020 and is coming off an impressive 2018 campaign. Hernández is the kind of player the Mets need, a versatile defender with a power bat who should be in the lineup every day. Van Wagenen should ask for Muncy, who hit 35 homers in his first year of playing every day, but it's hard to believe the Dodgers would immediately trade one of their best finds in years.
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If the Mets are looking to trade Syndergaard and bolster their win total in 2019, it's hard to find a better crop of big-league talent than there is in L.A.
Emma Baccellieri: Mets trade Noah Syndergaard to Padres for OF Franmil Reyes, C Austin Hedges and P Jacob Nix
The Padres reportedly tried to pick Syndergaard up at the deadline, and I think they're still an intriguing trade partner here. The Mets are supposedly not looking at a window too far out—they want to contend now, or as close to that as possible. That equals an expected return of promising young players already with some experience in the major leagues, and that's an area where San Diego can provide. The Mets could use an upgrade at catcher, for one. The Padres already had heralded young backstop Austin Hedges, and at the deadline, they traded for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia. That means that they should be willing to part with Hedges, who could be paired with an outfielder to meet another need for the Mets. (Franmil Reyes, perhaps, who's coming off a strong rookie year?) Because Syndergaard's asking price is going to be deservedly high—after all, he won't be a free agent until 2022—let's throw in one more piece here. One of San Diego's young pitchers seems like a reasonable add, like Jacob Nix. A package like that should be enough to at least start a conversation for Thor, if not to finish it.