Syndergaard, 26, has three more seasons of club control before becoming a free agent in the winter of 2021. Noah has dealt with injury issues the last two seasons causing him to miss most of 2017 and over a month of 2018. The Padres, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, and their twelve-year drought is the second longest in the National League, behind only the Marlins.
With a system as good as theirs (they possess 10 of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects), the Padres are in a situation where they can afford to overspend on a generational franchise player, which Noah Syndergaard has proven he can be, and make it back to playing October baseball.
With a historically strong farm system and a desire to make it back to the playoffs, how well can the Mets and Padres actually match up on a Noah Syndergaard trade?
The Mets three biggest areas of need: pitchers, right-handed hitters, and a catcher can all be easily assessed in a trade with the Padres. So who are the players that can fill those holes?
Fernando Tatis Jr., 3B/SS
Following in the footsteps of his father, Fernando Tatis Jr. is set to become one of the better hitting infielders in baseball in a few years as his bat has dominated every level of the minor leagues he’s played in. Last season in Double-A, Tatis hit .286/.355/.507 in 88 games after dealing with an injury. Tatis could very easily fit a mold for the Mets and become the next generational talent at the hot corner, filling a position of need for years to come. He was ranked the second-best prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, and was given a 70 overall scouting grade, which tied for the best in all of the minor leagues.
Chris Paddack, RHP
Paddack, 22, is ranked as the thirty-fifth best prospect in baseball, and the fifth best in the Padres system. Paddack dominated Double-A during the second half of his 2018 campaign, and can be MLB ready by late 2019 or early 2020. This fits the mold of a Mets reboot, which could put an emphasis on a 2020 or 2021 run, which would be indicated by a move such as trading Syndergaard. Paddack only saw time as a starter and averaged over just five innings a game; he would need to improve on his ability to work deeper into games, or a move to the bullpen to perfect his craft there could be in the cards.
Mejia, 23, is the second-rated catching prospect in baseball. He came in at number 26 overall in 2018, and impressed throughout the whole season. He was traded from the Indians to the Padres in July for Brad Hand, and got even better with the Padres. Overall, he hit .293/.338/.471 for the season in Triple-A and then hit .179/.258/.375 in 21 games for the Friars after a September call-up. Brodie Van Wagenen has made it very clear that upgrading at catcher will be a prime focus for the Mets this off-season, and it could be a dream come true to upgrade and get younger at the same time. Mejia’s bat is an obvious plus, but his best tool rests below his right shoulder, with his cannon for an arm. It was given a 70 overall grade, and he backed up the hype by throwing out 12 of 42 attempted base-stealers.
Logan Allen, LHP
Allen, 21, had a great 2018 campaign. He fared fairly well in Double-A San Antonio, well enough to receive a promotion to Triple-A El Paso. where he dominated for a handful of starts. Allen was selected in the eighth round of the 2015 Draft by the Red Sox, and was shipped over to San Diego as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade. Allen’s best pitch, his changeup, is his go-to strikeout pitch. His fastball was given a 55 grade by MLB Pipeline, which is five above his curveball, and five below the aforementioned changeup. Allen made 25 appearances in 2018, with 24 of them being starts, and threw a shade under 149 innings. This topped his career high of 125 the year prior, proving the ability to work deeper and deeper into games as he progresses and not suffer from an extended period of dead-arm.