New York Mets: Noah Syndergaard on schedule for June return

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets in action against the Houston Astros during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets in action against the Houston Astros during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets Noah Syndergaard missed the entirety of the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. But his 2021 return is right on schedule.

The New York Mets have been missing a major arm in their rotation in Noah Syndergaard. But according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, he’s right on track to make his return as scheduled in 2021.

Syndergaard’s return addresses one of the only glaring needs left for new owner Steve Cohen to fix. The depth of the Mets starting pitching is less than ideal. Sure, they have the best pitcher in baseball on the frontlines. But beyond Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, there’s not a lot of consistency in the rotation.

When Syndergaard returns to the rotation, he’ll bring strikeouts and soft contact with him. 2019 was a down year for him, and he still managed to post a 24.5% strikeout rate and finish in the top 10% of average exit velocity.

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Is Syndergaard’s return enough to launch the Mets into serious contention? Probably not. But it is enough to make acquiring Trevor Bauer less of an absolute necessity. With the prospect of heading into a playoff series with deGrom, Stroman, and Syndergaard, adding the best pitcher on the free agent market doesn’t seem like it’s a desperate need.

They could instead sign two of the second tier guys, like former crosstown rivals Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, and solidify one of the best rotations in all of baseball. Or they could take that money and reallocate it towards signing George Springer or possibly trading for Nolan Arenado or Francisco Lindor.

The point is, Syndergaard could be the second ace for this team. And betting on his success can free up the resources to improve the team in other ways.

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Or Cohen could just dip into his unlimited resources, sign Trevor Bauer, and go into the postseason with two Cy Young winners along with Syndergaard and Stroman. Mets fans would probably feel pretty good about their chances of winning four of seven with that starting rotation.