New York Mets: Noah Syndergaard Sued For Missing Rent

2020 has not been a rough year for New York Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard. After a flurry of events changed his plans, Syndergaard decided he was not going to live in his New York City apartment.

Syndergaard is being sued in Manhattan federal court after he decided not to pay rent for his $27,000 apartment. He signed an eight-month lease in his Tribeca apartment, which began on March 20. Syndergaard found out he would need the surgery right around the time the tenancy started. His injury, combined with the season’s postponement, gave him little incentive to continue with the lease.

What is His Next Move?

Syndergaard treated the lease “like an option” and never did anything with the apartment. Syndergaard signed the least about a month before the city-wide Coronavirus shutdown. The shutdown postponed season, and surgery all gave Syndergaard no reason to live in New York.

After he missed the first payment on April 17, the landlord said Syndergaard defaulted on the lease. Then two weeks later, his lawyer told the landlord he could re-rent the apartment since Syndergaard was not moving in. All of this leads to a lawsuit where the landlord is seeking all $250,000 from Syndergaard, the full payment of the eight-month lease.

We are no legal experts here, but it seems hard for Thor to come out victorious.

New York Mets: The Variables of the Pending Season

After MLB owners approved the plan to continue the baseball season, the war between the league and the players union is ready for its first battle. Out of all teams, the New York Mets find themselves in a unique situation compared to the rest of the league.

Outside of health concerns, the battle of salary negotiation is going to be the biggest fight in the process. Union chief Tony Clark and legendary agent Scott Boras both agree that being paid a pro-rata salary would be the agreement whenever games resume. The sacrifice stands at 30-40% of wages, which the owners claimed as feasible, according to the owners.

According to Boras, his clients are not willing to budge from the agreement. If salaries receive a blindsided cut, it will extend the baseball drought longer. Should the union have a legitimate legal case, the damage could wipe out the rest of the season. But Clark is just as poor as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. This situation serves as a prologue to how next year’s discussions on a new collective bargain agreement will play out.

The Mets Effect

The only Boras represented Met is Michael Conforto, and luckily 30-40% of his $8 million salary is $2.4 million through $3.2 million. That number is no worry for the organization, especially with the rest of their high priced talent.

The conflict comes from Wilpon ownership and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. First, the Wilpon’s have continuously lost money from the Mets franchise over the last few years. The revenue from SNY, which the Wilpons also own, covers the losses from the organization.

Due to the revenue from SNY, the Wilpons call it untouchable in any team sale discussions. Since revenue should grow from SNY, since fans will not attend games, they might squeak by and suffer minimal damage to their finances due to the lack of fan revenue. But you can never be sure with the Wilpons.

Agent to GM

Van Wagenen plays a role more connected to the players. Not too long ago, he was the co-head for CAA Sports Baseball Division, which happens to represent the most players (6) on the current 40-man roster. Should the Mets look to cut more money from the players, Van Wagenen would have to side with ownership since they write his paychecks.

Four of those players make less than three million, including Brandon Nimmo and Robert Gsellman. Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are the two high priced/talented members of CAA. Van Wagenen also negotiated the current contracts Yoenis Cespedes, and Robinson Cano collect. Cespedes already lost money in the offseason due to an injury on his ranch.

Van Wagenen does not make any final decisions, but he knows both sides of the fence. His voice will be heavily relied upon to fix and issues between players and ownership without it creating a media storm. Not to mention, he has to figure out the best pieces for a potential 82-game season at the same time.

Van Wagenen is a master agent and earned the GM job because he knows how to handle strenuous situations. He will be able to take any negative that comes out of the meetings and make it a positive. Few GMs in baseball have that ability.

New York Mets: Is the Starting Rotation Actually Set?

Each day inches closer to the hope of baseball returning, and the New York Mets will have some crucial decision to make with their roster. Seth Lugo is a versatile weapon in the pitching staff and could sneak his way back into the starting rotation during this shortened season.

The original thought when Noah Syndergaard had to get Tommy John Surgery was Michael Wacha sliding in to take his place. As the season gets shorter and shorter, the idea of Seth Lugo moving into the rotation should have weight.

Reasons to Start Lugo

If Syndergaard were healthy, the urgency would not be as high. The Mets need to replace his production, and there is no guarantee Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, or Wacha could do the same. Lugo has a 4.06 ERA during his career as a starter, compared to 2.52 in the bullpen. His K/9 is three better as a reliever. A move to the rotation moves him from a dominant reliever to a solid starter.

There are concerns about Lugo’s workload as a reliever, which limited his usage early in the season. The extended period on the sidelines has allowed his injured elbow to heal. If the season is 100 games and everything works as planned, Lugo makes no more than 20 starts. His average 5.5 innings per start would equal 110 innings. It would be the most he has thrown in a season, but there are ways to limit the number.

The shortened season could include a roster expansion from 26 to 30. The Mets could implement a six-man rotation that includes Lugo in the mix. In that situation, he could pitch out of the bullpen late in the season as well. It would keep him around the 100 inning mark Lugo reached in 2017 and 2018.

Lugo could also remain in the rotation until the Mets acquire a starter. He spends half the season starting and the rest in the bullpen. It becomes another way for the Mets to get the most out of him.

There are plenty of avenues for the Mets to go with Lugo. Teams throughout baseball do not have weapons like these, and the Mets should make the most out of a shortened season.

Bartolo Colon’s “Big Sexy” nickname was born in the New York Mets

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The man known as “Big Sexy” is a big personality in the baseball industry. However, that nickname may be actually even bigger than him. Ever since Bartolo Colon adopted the “Big Sexy” phrase, fans and teammates alike loved it and it became part of the culture of the sport. And it all started on the New York Mets.

The former Cy Young winner, the owner of a career 4.12 ERA, reveals in his upcoming book that the nickname was born when he was an active member of the New York Mets roster a few seasons ago.

Colon played for the Mets between 2014 and 2016, and even made it to the World Series in 2015, losing to the Kansas City Royals. In his biography “Big Sexy: In His Own Words,” he recalls that it was current Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard the one that dubbed him “Big Sexy” during the 2015 season.

“Noah Syndergaard just started calling me Big Sexy in 2015, and the name stuck,” Colon wrote, according to Newsday. “I don’t think I’m sexy, but if the fans like the name, I like it, too.”

Another epic Colon moment with the Mets

Colon was a trending topic in social media this week because of the fourth anniversary of his first and only home run as a major leaguer, a scene that took place in San Diego in 2016 against James Shields. That was an epic moment, one that also happened when he was a member of the New York Mets.

The aforementioned book is expected to be released on May 12 according to the New York Post, and will cover Colon’s colorful 21-year tenure in the Major Leagues. Over that span, he played for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers in addition to the Mets.

The “Big Sexy” nickname was probably born in the clubhouse, but it really went viral when Syndergaard published an Instagram post of his entire family sporting Big Sexy T-Shirts with Colon’s face on them in December 2015. In 2016, Colon filed for a trademark on the popular nickname.

New York Mets: What will the team do with Conforto and Thor?

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

While there is no baseball being played as we speak, the New York Mets have quite a few interesting cases at hand when it comes to player contracts. Some of the deals that run through the 2020 season are Marcus Stroman, Jed Lowrie, Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha and Yoenis Cespedes, among others. But what about those who are up after 2021?

Two of the highest-profile cases in that last scenario are Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto. They are two of the Mets’ most important players, but if we read any indications, the former would prefer to test free agency while the latter is more likely and open to a future with the organization.

Mike Puma of the New York Post touched base with both players’ scenarios. “Both players can head to free agency after the 2021 season, but the fact Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery and likely won’t resume pitching until at least next June leaves him in limbo. The Mets could always offer him a one-year extension to minimize their risk on his elbow, but Syndergaard might want to bet on himself returning strong next year, showing he’s worthy of a free-agent deal in Zack Wheeler’s stratosphere.”

The Mets’ starter has hurdles to clear

The thing is, Syndergaard, who has been with the New York Mets during his whole career, will only have a few months next year to prove himself worthy of a big-money, multi-year deal. We know that a healthy Thor is easily worth a fortune, but who knows what will his performance look like after nearly a year and a half on the shelf?

In the case of Conforto, he is a valuable piece in the Mets’ puzzle. He has pop and he gets on base, which is the prototypical modern player. However, he won’t come cheap in an extension.

Regarding the matter, Puma said: “Conforto has repeatedly indicated he would like to remain with the Mets long term, but his agent Scott Boras is also known to push his clients to free agency. The time to extend Conforto would be soon — provided baseball resumes this season — but given the financial uncertainties facing the game, where do you even begin in trying to establish value for a player?”

In this specifical case, the issue would be establishing the Mets’ outfielder market value.

The Wonder of the 2016 New York Mets

The 2016 New York Mets had a unique season in the franchise’s history. After falling short in the previous year’s World Series, the Mets retooled their middle infield and bullpen with an expectation to return in 2016. Though falling short to Madison Bumgarner and the Giants, there is always wonder of what would have happened if the Mets made the NLDS.

Injuries were the theme of the 2016 Mets. Zack Wheeler was out for the entire season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Hansel Robles started their seasons on the Injured List. Throughout the year, David Wright, Lucas Duda, Yoenis Cespedes, and the list goes on of other Mets who spent extended periods on the IL. To make matters worse, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey performed nowhere near expectations. The most used lineup only made it to the field nine times all season.

Late But Key Pickups

Next ma up was the motto for these Mets. Jose Reyes, James Loney, and Seth Lugo were just a few essential parts that helped guide the Mets in the second half. On August 24, the Mets dropped to 63-63 on the season and one the outside looking in of the wild card race. It was on a night where Jacob deGrom was dreadful, and it was his second to last start before injuries ruined his season.

September was a crazy ride for the Mets. Their starting pitching at the beginning of the season was Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Bartolo Colon. By September, it was Syndergaard, Colon, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and the combination of Rafael Montero and Gabriel Ynoa.

This was way before Lugo and Gsellman were anywhere near household names. Lugo had a 6.50 ERA when he came up, and Gsellman started the year in double-A. Both pitched to a 2.67 and 2.42 ERA respectively and solidified the Mets rotation out of nowhere. Montero and Ynoa were no help to the rotation, but the Mets managed to go 18-10 over September/October to sneak into the postseason.

The efforts of Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, and Fernando Salas also go overlooked in giving the Mets a quality bullpen, especially when the short least the rookies in the rotation received. The health of Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera allowed the Mets to keep starters on the field despite losing others to injuries.

What the Playoffs Could Have Looked Like

If the Mets happened to get past Bumgarner things would have gotten very interesting from there. They would have faced a Cubs team which the Mets went 5-2 against and swept in the 2015 postseason. After Syndergaard threw a gem in the wild card game, it left the Mets with a rotation no one saw coming. 43-year old Bartolo Colon would have become the oldest pitcher ever to start game one of the postseason. Lugo or Gsellman would start game 2/4 with Syndergaard starting game 3. They would have faced the combination of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Kyle Hendricks.

The lineup would also be interesting with Granderson, Cespedes, and Cabrera as the regulars. The supporting cast would be the likes of T.J. Rivera, (slumping) Jay Bruce, James Loney, and Jose Reyes, who all were nowhere near the Opening Day roster. Rivera was the only one in Spring Training with the Mets. Rene Rivera and Travis d’Arnaud would be managing the catching duties.

Could They Beat the Cubs?

They lack of quality pitching behind Bumgarner is what did the Giants in. During a one-game playoff, you can ride his greatness to a win, but it was impossible to do to a team as strong as the cubs. That said, there is no reason to think the Mets could not have broken the Cubs hearts again and extended the curse for another year. Outside of Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs bullpen did not offer anything better than what the Mets had.

The Dodgers were very similar to what they beat in 2015, and their rotation was worse without Greinke. The biggest question would have been how the Mets could get by with the unproven Lugo and Gsellman. The games Colon and Syndergaard pitched would become must-win games just based on the uncertainty of the other half of the rotation.

Beat the Tribe?

Topping the Indians would have been a much tougher feat due to the entire roster matching up better than the Mets. Though like the 2019 World Series, the Astros seemed like the sure bet, but anything happens when you get to the World Series. Things have not been quite the same for the Mets since 2016. The Mets could have seriously changed the landscape of baseball should they have managed even one run off Bumgarner.

New York Mets: Why Noah Syndergaard Should Rehab With Nolan Ryan

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

As Noah Syndergaard begins the process of recovery from Tommy John Surgery, he should reinvent himself to prevent future injuries. One of the things on top of his list should be working with former New York Met, Nolan Ryan, to regain confidence in his 4-seam fastball. Ryan even offered advice for Syndergaard to put pickle juice on his blisters in 2017.

Randy Johnson credits Ryan for allowing him to reach his full potential. All it took was a short period for Johnson to absorb all of the information he needed to become the “Big Unit.” Syndergaard and Johnson are in two different points of their careers, but Syndergaard needs to return to what got him to the big leagues.

Two Texans

Syndergaard and Ryan draw a lot of similarities, both from Texas, both intimating pitchers and both with lively arms. The reason for Syndergaard to learn from Ryan would be to move away from the sinker and back to his traditional 4-seam fastball. Ryan threw near triple digits, with a nasty curveball and a good changeup. He mastered those three pitches and had kept himself in great shape, which allowed him to pitch for 27 seasons.

That is the potential Syndergaard has, even coming off of Tommy John. Syndergaard had shown the same demeanor as Ryan as well in the 2015 World Series and when he threw behind Chase Utley. Becoming a sinkerball pitcher has done more harm than good to Syndergaard’s production.

During his first two seasons, he threw the 4-seam fastball 38 and 30 percent of the time, which resulted in a 2.89 ERA, 10.8 K/9, and a 0.8 HR/9. In the following three, he has thrown the 4-seam fastball less than 30 percent of the time, in exchange for an increased sinker usage. His numbers resulted in a 3.67 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and the same 0.8 HR/9.

Why Fix Something That Isn’t Broken?

Syndergaard had no problem in the home run department but still sacrificed velocity to get more groundballs and contact. For someone who holds runners very poorly, he should be looking to prevent any possibility of runners getting on base.

When Syndergaard comes back from surgery, he will get less than a full season before heading into arbitration. If he wants to get paid what he deserves, his 2016 form needs to be what he presents. Anything less will not get him more than the $9.7 million he already makes.

 

New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery

The New York Mets‘ starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard underwent successful elbow reconstruction surgery on Thursday. This week, more precisely on Tuesday, it was announced that the talented hurler had a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow that required the Tommy John procedure.

The surgery was performed in Florida. There was a controversy because some people in the industry saw the procedure as “nonessential” and those were banned until further notice because of the coronavirus. However, Florida doctors gave the green light.

Thor will be sidelined for the whole 2020 season, if there is one, and for at least a couple pf months of next year, as well. Given that recommended rehab for the surgery is between 12 and 15 months (it could extend to 18 months in some cases) he has a shot to return prior to the 2021 All-Star break, although it’s not a given.

A Mets’ statement

“Noah is an incredibly hard worker and a tremendous talent,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “While this is unfortunate, we have no doubt that Noah will be able to return to full strength and continue to be an integral part of our Championship pursuits in the future.”

Losing Thor for such an extended period of time represents a huge blow for the Mets’ postseason odds. He was slated to follow ace Jacob deGrom in the rotation, where his pedigree and strikeout prowess were going to be useful for the team to make a run at the playoffs.

After all, Syndergaard had a 4.4 fWAR season in 2019 even though it wasn’t his sharpest year. Overall, his 4.28 ERA was mediocre but his 3.60 FIP was much better. He still struck out over a batter per inning and was dominant for stretches.

The Mets will now have deGrom as the ace, with Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz and Michael Wacha completing the rotation.

What do the New York Mets have behind the top five healthy starters?

Simeon Woods-Richardson

As Noah Syndergaard goes down with Tommy John surgery, the New York Mets need to move on and find solutions to re-arrange their starting pitching depth. After all, Thor is slated to miss the next 14-18 months of action with the procedure and rehab. That represents a huge blow to the team’s playoff hopes.

Right now, five healthy starters sit atop the Mets’ depth chart. Jacob deGrom, 2018 and 2018 NL Cy Young award winner, is the ace. Marcus Stroman will follow him, Rick Porcello will likely follow him, and Steven Matz and Michael Wacha complete the group.

As of right now, the New York Mets are an injury away from disaster in their rotation. If someone in that group were to get hurt, the team would have to pencil a name with which it won’t feel entirely comfortable, for one reason or another.

Here is a glimpse of what the Mets have after the top five pitchers in the rotation:

David Peterson: Manager Luis Rojas referred to Peterson as the Mets’ seventh starter, which means that, after Thor’s injury, he would be the preferred option to enter the rotation if something were to happen to one of the top five remaining hurlers.

Peterson is a lefty that already had a good season in Double-A and showed up to spring training throwing harder. He is now sitting in the mid 90s. If he dominates Triple-A, a call to Queens will be in the horizon for him.

Walker Lockett: Lockett is out of options and is now an alternative to make the Mets. He doesn’t have a high ceiling but could develop into a backend starter if given the opportunity.

Erasmo Ramirez: The spring training invitee was dealing before play was halted: he threw eight innings of a 1.13 ERA, with 10 strikeouts and only five hits allowed. He has plenty of big league experience and is nice insurance.

Stephen Gonsalves: He was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in the winter. He is slated to start the season in Triple-A, if there is a season of course.

Corey Oswalt: Oswalt was once among the first pitchers in line for a rotation spot last year, but despite his minor league success, he hasn’t been able to translate it to the majors so far. He had a good spring, with only one run conceded in eight frames. He struck out six with no free passes.

Franklyn Kilomé: A Tommy John survivor, Kilome could contribute this season, but it isn’t likely. 2021 seems like a more appropriate ETA.

Pedro Payano: The New York Mets signed Payano to a minor league contract in December. He posted mediocre numbers in Triple-A and the bigs (5.73 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, and 17/15 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.)

Kevin Smith: Another talented lefty that needs Triple-A success to be considered as an option for this year.

New York Mets: Thor’s injury will test the team’s pitching depth

The New York Mets received some bad news on Tuesday regarding Noah Syndergaard’s health. As it turns out, he has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, which means he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery on Thursday, March 26th.

The usual timetable for these injuries and surgeries is around 18 months. Some pitchers return a little earlier, but most of them do it around or after the year and a half mark. The Mets shouldn’t count on Syndergaard contributing until around the All-Star break of 2021.

That year, 2021, also happens to be the last of Syndergaard’s tenure with the Mets unless the two sides reach an agreement for an extension, which seems unlikely now.

The Mets are going to have to find a way to replace Syndergaard in the rotation. When it comes to names, they can easily slot new signings Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello (who was already expected to be a starter) to complement Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz.

Do the Mets have options to replace Thor? What about if another injury strikes?

But if we are talking numbers and performance, only deGrom carries a similar ceiling/floor than Thor. Stroman is a fine mid-rotation starter and Porcello, Matz and Wacha are good options to round out the group, but none of them carries the strikeout prowess and dominating potential of Noah Syndergaard. Only deGrom does. Of course, he is the National League’s best hurler. But there is no denying that Thor’s injury will hurt the Mets, this year and next.

The thing about Syndergaard’s Tommy John is that the team’s depth is now razor-thin. It’s amazing what an injury can do to a team’s plans: the Mets went from having six capable starters with experience to only five. What if another injury strikes?

Prospects David Peterson and Kevin Smith could be ready to contribute later this season if they prove they can master the Triple-A level first. Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman both have experience starting games, but they are too valuable in the bullpen, especially the former.

Walter Lockett could develop into a backend starter, and Erasmo Ramirez was pitching very well in spring training before play was halted. Neither one represents a particularly enticing option, to be honest.

The New York Mets have some alternatives, but there is no sugarcoating it: losing Noah Syndergaard hurts the team’s playoff chances.