Right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal, sources told ESPN, with the 30-year-old hoping to revive his career with a team known for getting the best out of talented arms.
Syndergaard is expected to join a Dodgers rotation that includes All-Stars Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin.
Los Angeles has lost left-handers Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, whom it signed last year to one-year deals, to free agency this winter: Anderson for three years and $39 million to the Los Angeles Angels and Heaney for two years. and $25 million for the Texas Rangers.
Last season, Syndergaard signed a one-year, $21 million deal with the Angels and started 15 games before a trade deadline deal sent him to Philadelphia. He pitched 134⅔ innings between teams, his most since 2019, and posted a 3.94 ERA.
Although it was seen as a successful comeback from his 2020 Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard’s hope is to return to his best form. In his heyday, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, a flamethrowing punch artist with the looks of a Norse god.
He debuted with the New York Mets in 2015, started one World Series game, made the All-Star team the next season and, at 23, seemed destined for stardom.
Arm injuries slowed his progress and robbed him of the 100+ mph speed that was his hallmark. In his final full season with the Mets, Syndergaard pitched a career-best 197⅔ innings, but posted a career-worst 4.28 ERA.
His return with the Angels featured a fastball that clocked in at closer to 94 mph than the 98 he had pumped with the Mets.
However, he remained excellent at preventing home runs, and a walk rate of just over two per nine innings helped make up for the drop in his strikeout rate.
The Dodgers are betting they can get more out of Syndergaard.
Anderson thrived last season with the Dodgers, posting a 2.57 ERA in 178⅔ innings, and Heaney’s 13.6-for-9 strikeout rate was among the league leaders.
Syndergaard has spent time at multiple pitching facilities this winter, working with coaches to better understand the strengths of his arsenal and help regain lost velocity.
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Sources: Noah Syndergaard and Dodgers reach agreement