LOS ANGELES — Finding starting pitching depth has been the Dodgers’ top priority this offseason. They found some on Wednesday, signing right-hand man Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million deal, multiple sources told MLB.com.
The deal is unofficial and the club has yet to confirm the move.
After a promising start to his career with the Mets, Syndergaard, famously nicknamed “Thor,” struggled with injuries from 2017-21 but ultimately managed to stay healthy and had a rebounding season with the Angels and Phillies in the ‘ 22. The 30-year-old went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 25 starts (24 starts) last season and helped stabilize a Phillies rotation that reached the World Series.
Syndergaard broke into the Majors as a tough pitcher but recently changed his repertoire after being plagued by injuries. He relies mostly on a sinker-slider combination and averages 93-94 mph on the heater, compared to 97-98 mph before undergoing Tommy John surgery ahead of the 2020 season.
While his stuff may look different, the Dodgers believe Syndergaard can still be effective and provide exactly what they need in a starting rotation that has needed help heading into winter. There may also be a speed bump now that he’s removed from Tommy John for a few seasons.
With a huge hole to fill in the back of the rotation, the Dodgers are banking on Syndergaard to continue his solid production. After losing Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney to free agency and losing Justin Verlander early in the offseason, Los Angeles is looking for a starter back-end.
There were more options available to the Dodgers, but Syndergaard’s silver lining is what ultimately attracted Los Angeles. Getting Syndergaard on a one-year deal also helps the Dodgers stay flexible with their payroll next winter. Righteous, who will bet on himself on a one-year deal, was also determined to land with the Dodgers given their track record of getting the most out of players.
It was a very quiet offseason for the Dodgers, especially considering what the Giants, Padres and Mets were able to accomplish. But Los Angeles says it feels confident with the core it has going into next season. Now, it’s a matter of continuing to round out the roster, and the Dodgers believe they have done it — at least pitching-wise — with the signing of Syndergaard and the trade to the Rays for reliever JP Feyereisen.