New York Mets: Trading Diaz and Thor would be a mistake

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

It appears as if New York Mets pitchers Edwin Diaz and Noah Syndergaard are on the team’s trade block. Dealing either of them would be a huge mistake.

New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen says the team is open for business as Wednesday’s Major League trade deadline looms. Two players rumored to be available are starter Noah Syndergaard and closer Edwin Diaz. Trading either one of the fireballers would be both foolhardy and rash.

Sunday, BVW surprised the baseball world by sending two of the team’s top 10 prospects, Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson, to Toronto for starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. A Medford, Long Island native, Strowman is having what may be a career year, despite his 6-11 record. Curiously, the Amazins added a groundball pitcher to the worst fielding infield in the majors, but that’s a different story.

It’s understandable that BVW would trade starters Zack Wheeler, and/or Jason Vargas because their respective contracts are up. Maybe acquiring Stroman was even a shrewd move to up their trade values by taking a potential acquisition away from pitching starved contenders.

Then again, if the New York Mets have become buyers, why are the rumors around Thor and Diaz still going strong? The answer is because both are still on the market. Van Wagenen believes by trading one or both, he can get Major League-ready talent who can step in next season make the team better. That’s is faulty reasoning.

Syndergaard turns 27 at the end of next month. He’s arguably going into the prime of his career over the next two to three seasons. Anyone who has followed the Mets over the last half-decade knows that Thor has been rather un-Thor-like in 2019. His 7-5 record combined with what are career high’s to this point in ERA (4.23), and WHIP 1.263 prove that.

The fact remains that even those inflated numbers are still better than the MLB average. So Syndergaard’s worst season so far (which isn’t close to over) is still better than an average pitcher. Even including his clunker last Wednesday against San Diego, which was his first loss in five decisions, Syndergaard has improved greatly over the last seven-and-a-half-weeks.

Since June 9, Thor has made seven starts with a 4-1 record, with a 3.43 ERA. Among his two no-decisions was the 16-inning loss at San Francisco on July 18. That day he allowed one run on six hits and had eight strikeouts in seven innings.

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Syndergaard would be almost impossible to replace in the rotation. Before hitting the emergency eject button, why not take a deep breath and realize what the Mets have with Thor is much better than the return they can get for him.

On to Edwin Diaz. The fans, media, and now team management have all turned on the 25-year-old closer. I covered the Mariners last year and watched him pitch. “Sugar” was about as automatic as it got. He saved 57 games in 2018 and it would have been much higher if Seattle didn’t disintegrate over the last two month of the season.

New York is a hard place to play. More accomplished players than him have failed here and been successful in other places. However, four months is much of an audition. Further, it’s only been two months since he’s lost his mojo. Before the best team in the National League, Los Angeles, stole his soul by scoring four runs on him in a third of an inning sixty days ago, Diaz appeared in 22 games with 13 saves, and posted a 1.64 ERA.

Since then he’s been awful with a 9.00 ERA and 1.035 OPS against. Sugar is only 25, give him a chance to regain his confidence. Diaz has an arm that has lightning in it. His 100 MPH velocity can’t be taught and is exceedingly difficult to replace. There is no way BVW can get back what he laid out to acquire the closer. Even if he did get a good return, who would the Mets use to close games the remainder of this year and in the future?

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