Could Cano trade affect possible Syndergaard talks for the Rays?
By Austin Reimann
There is a chance that the Tampa Bay Rays may trade for Mets righty Noah Syndergaard, the asking price will be high, but did it just get higher due to the Robinson Cano trade?
The Tampa Bay Rays’ hypothetical pursuit of Noah Syndergaard may have been impacted by the New York Mets most recent trade that sent Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, and two top prospects to Seattle for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
With the Mets sending away two top prospects in return for Edwin Diaz, the best closer in baseball, and Robinson Cano, an eight time all-star, it is clear that Brodie Van Wagenen is looking to compete now. It has been reported that the new GM of the Mets is interested in moving Syndergaard and replacing him with a free agent starting pitcher, but now the asking price is likely higher.
Sure, the Mets may have been planning on flipping Syndergaard prior to their latest haul, but now does that plan change, and if it does, where does that leave the Rays…?
The asking price was already high but due to the trade, they must replenish their farm system and as a result the asking price may be even steeper. Not to mention that in their pursuit to win now, they might be hard pressed to trade away their dominant righty. But, on the flip side, they do have to keep an eye on the future which just took a hit as they traded a pair of former first round picks.
Yes, as I previously mentioned, the Mets could still trade Syndergaard away and replenish their farm system and then sign J.A. Happ or Dallas Keuchel to fill in behind Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom. But with the addition of Cano and Diaz, the Mets may find it more difficult to give up three years of Syndergaard.
They could wait a year and then trade Syndergaard but then they run the risk of injury which would greatly diminish an already lower asking price. If they are looking to restock their farm system, now is time to do it.
There are plenty of viable free agent options that they could sign for three years or more who could provide close to Syndergaard’s production on the mound. By trading Syndergaard and signing a starting pitcher, the Mets achieve both a formidable starting rotation and a revamped farm system.
In the coming days and weeks, New York’s front office may be singing a different tune and they may indeed hold on to the righty, or in those coming weeks, Thor may be traded…this is where the Tampa Bay Rays come in.
Even if the previously assumed substantial asking price has increased as a result of the impactful arrival of Cano and Diaz, the Rays can still afford to trade for Syndergaard. The Mets’ focus may very well switch from MLB talent to strictly prospects, and if it does the Rays are still well suited to make a trade.
I previously wrote about the need for the Rays to trade for Syndergaard and what a MLB heavy package may look like and that can be found here. The Rays have depth in their farm system rivaled by few and could still pull off the blockbuster.
The question is whether or not the Rays front office will be willing to part with top prospects just as the Mets did. The asking price will be steep as Jered Kelenic and Justin Dunn were top 100 prospects. The good news is that the Rays possess five top 100 prospects ranked above Kelenic and Dunn and have the flexibility to part ways with one of those.
The only untouchable prospects in my opinion would be Wander Franco, Brent Honeywell, Ronaldo Hernandez and Matthew Liberatore. I think they could be persuaded to move Brendan McKay or Jesus Sanchez but only in a deal where they would get three years of control of a dominant starting pitcher like Noah Syndergaard. They may still trade away major league pieces like Kevin Kiermaier or Matt Duffy but it all depends on which the direction of the Mets front office will take.
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The Cano/Diaz trade may have made it less likely that Syndergaard is dealt, forcing the Rays to look elsewhere. The trade may increase the asking price of Syndergaard making it less likely that the Rays trade for Thor. Or, the trade made it more likely that Mets trade Syndergaard in an effort to revamp their farm system. Only time will tell, but if Noah Syndergaard is still available than the Rays may very well be the front runner.