Could the Atlanta Braves Make a Play for Noah Syndergaard?

Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks in the dugout during workouts before Game 1 of the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks in the dugout during workouts before Game 1 of the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The trade deadline is coming up and that means Alex Anthopolous and the Atlanta Braves front office will be busy! Could Noah Syndergaard pique their interest?

With the trade deadline approaching, that means Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopolous will have the tall task of replicating last year’s tremendous trade deadline. Could that include acquiring Noah Syndergaard?

Now, Syndergaard is not the same guy who put up a 6 fWAR for the Mets in 2016. He is also not the guy who put up a 4.2 fWAR and 4.3 fWAR in 2018 and 2019. However, he appears to be a popular trade target this season.

Maybe he is more like the Thor in Endgame rather than the one in Infinity War, but that version of Thor still provided some significant value to the Avengers. Syndergaard could provide some value to a pitching staff, just more as a 4th or 5th option rather than a front-line guy.

Currently in 2022, Syndergaard has started 14 games, pitched 74.1 innings with a 4.00 ERA, 4.22 xERA, 4.05 FIP, 4.20 xFIP, 4.22 SIERA, and a 1.20 WHIP.

He is not much of a strikeout guy this year, with an 18.6% K rate (25.6% for his career), but he does a good job of limiting walks with a 6.4% walk rate.

The Angels signed him to a one-year, $21M contract (roughly $9 million and change remains on that), so he will be a pure rental and will not bring in a massive return. However, the Angels farm system grades as one of the worst and could do well in getting the best return available if Syndergaard is available.

Could the Braves make a play for Syndergaard?

Atlanta Assemble the Avengers

What exactly could the Braves offer? It is tough because most publications have the Braves as having one of the weakest farm systems. Before the season, MLB ranked the Braves at 26, but that was before Michael Harris and Spencer Strider graduated. Fangraphs’ updated farm system rankings have the Braves dead last.  Kiley McDaniel of ESPN agrees.

It is also why a guy like Syndergaard make sense. The Braves will need to shop in the clearance section. They did so last year with guys like Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Adam Duvall, giving up not much in terms of prospect cost to rebuild an outfield that desperately needed it.

Baseball Trade Values gives Syndergaard a 4.5 value. So, they will probably not receive a special prospect — particularly if his entire contract is absorbed.

However, the Angels General Manager, Perry Minasian, was in the Braves organization before taking the job in LA. Maybe there are some under-the-radar guys from the system he likes.

Trade 1: An Arm for an Arm

I like Tucker Davidson but the case could be made that he is behind a few guys in terms of the organization’s view on him. At 26 years old, the best thing for Davidson might be getting out of Atlanta’s logjam and going to a rotation that allows him to pitch every 5th day.

He may not have the ceiling of an Ace, but if all goes well, could find himself as an anchor in the middle of a rotation. The Angels have had trouble stabilizing their rotation for years, maybe Tucker Davidson could help alleviate that issue.

Greyson Jenista is a lottery ticket prospect already at the AAA level. A former second-round draft pick, he has played multiple defensive positions in the Braves organization.

Trade 2: A little of everything

Similar to Tucker Davidson, Alan Rangel might get stuck in the logjam that is the Braves organization. He comes in at 12th currently in the Braves system according to Fangraphs and is already on the 40-man roster. A high strikeout rate and the potential for three solid pitches could be enough to entice the Angels to take a shot.

Luke Waddell ranks 14th according to Fangraphs. He is listed as a shortstop but has played both second and third as well. He may need to move off short, but the potential is there for him to be a plus hitter at one of the infield positions. The Angels could use an infielder and Waddell is intriguing enough to take a flyer on.

Drew Lugbauer is another lottery pick. He may never make it to Atlanta, but the power could intrigue teams. He might be best fit as a DH, but has been a catcher in the past.

Trade 3: A Shew(make) in

Braden Shewmake was thought to be a plus hitter that will need to move off short as he progresses. It has been the opposite for him as he looks like a plus defender at short but has not hit. He could be in the majors soon and maybe a new organization could get his swing back in order.

Makhi Backstrom is a true lottery ticket prospect. A slugging first baseman with loads of power but tons of swing and miss. He could be interchanged with Jenista or Lugbauer.

The 2022 Draft: Atlanta's Rounds 1 and 2. dark. Next

What do we think? There is no guarantee the Braves even go after Syndergaard, but these could be packages similar to what is needed to get it done.