The LA Angels spent the offseason trusting their starting rotation. So far, they have been outstanding, but the rich can get richer. Especially when it comes to what the Mets are putting on the table.
Like the LA Angels, the New York Mets got off to an incredible start to 2018, going 11-1 in the first 12 games. However, again like the Angels, they have stumbled a bit since. While the Halos are still a respectable 35-28, the Mets have fallen to a putrid 27-34.
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After recently being swept by the MLB worst Baltimore Orioles, the Mets are now reportedly shopping both Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The LA Angels recently lost Shohei Ohtani to a Grade 2 UCL injury, and he may have thrown his last pitch of 2018.
DeGrom has pitched his way to a 1.87 ERA this season, best in the MLB for a starting pitcher. His most recent performance saw him pitch eight dazzling innings against the New York Yankees. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight. He has one year left before free agency after 2018, and would take a good haul of prospects to acquire.
Syndergaard, currently on the DL, has also been a top-tier starting pitcher in 2018. He owns a 3.06 ERA. His 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings would be his second best number of his career. Unlike DeGrom, however, Syndergaard would not hit free agency until 2022, giving the team four-plus years of “Thor’s” service. At 25 years old, his contract would see him through his prime years.
This is a trade that former Mets beat writer Mack Ade (@JohnMackinAde) and I worked out for an article for his Mets site. The Angels would be sending four of their top prospects (3, 6, 7, 13) for the best pitcher in the National League for a year and a half. This deal would be extremely in favor of the Mets unless DeGrom was convinced to sign long-term by Eppler and Co.
The rotation of DeGrom, Ohtani, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Andrew Heaney would be one of the best in the bigs, as all five have pitches like aces at numerous points this season. Losing Jones, the possible future for the Halos at second, would hurt, but the Angels have a variety of other infield prospects who could take over in 2019 and beyond.
I don’t see Billy Eppler making a deal like this, as he recently stated in an article by Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) of the LA Times, that he would prefer to keep the farm system as intact as possible this trade deadline and beyond.
Both DeGrom and Syndergaard have excelled in the postseason as well, owning ERA’s of 2.88 and 2.42, respectively.
With the injury of Ohtani and Mike Trout‘s upcoming free agency in 2020, dealing for a bona fide ace might be the move Eppler could (and should) make for a playoff push this season and turn them into yearly contenders.