Dodgers Rumors: Noah Syndergaard Contract Includes Bonuses

The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced the signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million contract, bolstering their starting rotation with a veteran arm.

Heading into the offseason, the Dodgers were expected to make an attempt to retain Tyler Anderson, but after he declined the qualifying offer and signed a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels, they needed to look elsewhere.

Syndergaard pitched for the Angels this past season prior to a trade deadline move with the Philadelphia Phillies, and on the year he posted a 3.94 ERA and 3.83 FIP while allowing a .260 batting average to opposing hitters.

In his first extended opportunity after missing more than two years following Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, he logged 134.2 innings pitched in 25 regular season appearances. Syndergaard’s contract with the Dodgers includes incentives for innings, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

The 30-year-old broke into Major League Baseball with the New York Mets where he instantly made a name for himself due to his large frame and power-based arsenal headlined by an upper 90s fastball. Syndergaard had an immediate impact on the Mets during their postseason success in 2015 after defeating the Dodgers in the National League Division Series and capturing an NL pennant.

Syndergaard has since posted five seasons in which he’s topped 130 innings pitched, and his incentive-based contract is on par with career marks.

The Dodgers had a need to replace some innings in their starting rotation and if healthy, Syndergaard can certainly provide upside and quality innings for manager Dave Roberts.

Where Noah Syndergaard needs to improve

Following a lengthy absence from Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard returned as a different pitcher. His power arm seemed to take a hefty step back in terms of velocity when he experienced an average loss of 4 mph on his sinker, Syndergaard’s primary pitch.

But that hasn’t hindered the success of his top pitch, and the real issue has come with his inability to figure out his changeup. In 2019, it was one of the best in baseball with a run value of -10, but in 2022, it exploded to +8, with a .373 wOBA allowed.

The Dodgers need to rework his secondary stuff and find out how to miss bats. They’ll approach him the same way they did with Anderson and how he came to the team in 2022 with an average changeup and left with an All-Star appearance, one of the best changeups in baseball, and a three-year deal worth $39 million dollars.

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