CHICAGO – Noah Syndergaard showcased Tuesday in the New York Mets' 5-2 win in 11 innings over the Chicago White Sox why his current team is asking for the moon in return for two-plus seasons of control.
The expectation is both players will still be with the Mets come 4:01 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, but their statuses, along with that of pending free agent-to-be Zack Wheeler, will be main storylines.
“I don’t think anything is going to happen,” Syndergaard said. “It’s getting kind of old [being in the rumor mill] a little bit.”
Despite the Mets’ willingness to trade Syndergaard, it still appears he will finish the year in orange and blue because the Mets are asking for quite a haul, according to sources. The team has yet to have anyone meet that price, and that may not change by Wednesday afternoon.
The Mets are asking for major-league ready pieces, a source said.
One team source also told Yahoo the Mets don’t feel they have to make a deal. They could just hold on to all three and try to make a push for a wild-card spot, where they’re currently five games back.
“There’s no urgency for us to make a deal,” a source told Yahoo Sports. “We can let the guys play up to their ability and see where it goes.”
New York has already been one of the more active teams this trade season, acquiring Marcus Stroman and trading Jason Vargas, and the Mets now have the chance to shape the baseball landscape should they actually decide to move one of their pitchers.
Most contending teams have touched base, including the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, sources said. This trade market is pitching heavy with the Mets' trades and others, including Tuesday's blockbuster that sent Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds.
Syndergaard showed Tuesday why he’s the type of starter those contenders want for October. Granted, the White Sox lineup is rather meek, but he dominated them over 7 1/3 innings while allowing one unearned run.
The righty used his 100-mph fastball and 100-mph sinker to strike out 11 batters, and he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
The Mets have emphasized Syndergaard using his sinker down in the zone, and most of the White Sox hitters were helpless.
Syndergaard also now has a better feel for his slider, which he didn't have earlier in the season.
This version of Syndergaard could help a team — like the cross-town Yankees — win a World Series.
"The confidence is there in all his pitches," Mets catcher Tomas Nido said. "It's awesome to see."
The Mets are also asking for a large return for Diaz despite his 5.05 ERA and unreliability over the past three months. Diaz blew a 2-1 lead Tuesday due to a walk, two wild pitches and a hit by pitch.
Since a torrid start to the year, Diaz has hardly resembled the dominant relief ace that led MLB in saves last year. He struggles with his command far too often.
The Red Sox, Dodgers and Braves have all shown interest in Diaz, sources said, but it seems like trading Diaz would hurt the Mets' chances in 2019 and 2020.
“His arm’s late,” Callaway said of Diaz. “When he’s on time, he’s light outs.”
Team decision-makers plan to make a push now and contend in 2020, and are gutting the farm system in their quest.
The Met most likely to be traded is Wheeler because he’s a pending free agent, and that would be the simplest route for the team rather than having to go through the qualifying-offer process. One team source said the team would be open to offering the qualifying offer to Wheeler after the season.
If the Mets do so, though, and Wheeler accepts, it will affect the team’s spending capabilities, and the team has quite a few holes.
The Mets are playing better baseball, albeit against some of the worst teams and offenses in the sport, and the bullpen is much improved.
First-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff have some interesting decisions to make.
“If [a trade] were to happen, that would really be a bittersweet moment for me,” Syndergaard said. “Fan base, the guys in this clubhouse, I still hope that everyone is in this clubhouse together past Aug. 1. Selling means giving up. I think we have plenty of opportunities to make a run at this thing."
Yahoo Sports’ Wallace Matthews contributed reporting to this story.
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