Last November, coming off Tommy John surgery, Noah Syndergaard signed a surprisingly healthy one-year, $21 million with the Los Angeles Angels. With his velocity down some 4.0+ MPH, he turned in a performance that was useful, but still FAR from his former dominance: 3.94 ERA, 4.43 xERA, 3.83 FIP over 24 starts (134.2 IP).
Basically, as he adjusted to his post-TJS abilities, Syndergaard traded off premium velocity and strikeout stuff for next-to-NO strikeouts (16.8 K%) and some solid contact management. Again, it was fine. Just nowhere close to what he had been.
Because on that middling performance, Syndergaard evidently wasn’t able to land an acceptable long-term deal this winter. But he’s going to try the same thing again, this time with the Dodgers (a better choice, if you ask me):
The deal is worth $13 million (with incentives) according to multiple reports.
The Cubs do still need another starting pitcher this offseason, and Syndergaard is generally in the appropriate tier for their apparent appetite, but they were never really connected to him. He also comes with a whole lot of warts, even if I do believe there’s probably some upside there. In any case, it seems as though Syndergaard chose the team he thought best suited to get him right again/set up for a big deal next winter.