With their starting pitching high atop the priority list for the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason, the organization took a step closer to fulfilling their rotation for 2023 on by signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year contract worth $13 million.
Syndergaard, who most notably broke into the Majors as a high-velocity, power-pitching giant for the New York Mets in 2015, helps round out a rotation for Los Angeles that puts him alongside Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin.
In a year that saw the Texas native return to the mound with remarkably less velocity after missing almost two full seasons because of Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard spent 2022 making 24 starts between the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies, delivering a combined 3.94 ERA across 134.2 innings, the most he’s thrown since 2019.
Syndergaard had widespread interest in free agency before choosing to sign with the Dodgers for less money, according to The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya:
Syndergaard, 30, had offers for more years and guaranteed money elsewhere, a source said, but instead opted for the opportunity to work in the Dodgers’ pitching development factory and perhaps reset his market.
The 6’6″ right-hander, who delivered a career-best 2.60 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across more than 183 innings in 2016, looks to accomplish similar feats to those of Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, who both found remarkable improvements with the Dodgers on one-year deals in 2022.
Anderson, who recently signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Angels, posted a 2.57 ERA this past season across a career-best 178.2 innings. It was Anderson’s first time finishing below a 4.00 ERA since his rookie season in 2016.
Heaney, freshly signed to a two-year deal worth $25 million with the Texas Rangers, had career bests in ERA (3.10), WHIP (1.09), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.8) with L.A. after 23 abysmal starts with the Angels and New York Yankees to a tune of a 5.83 ERA in 2021.
As Syndergaard prepares to become an optimistically solid back of the rotation piece for the Dodgers, in the case of Anderson and Heaney, perhaps pitching coach Mark Prior and the staff can help him return to the best version of his past self.
Noah Syndergaard has affinity for Dodger Stadium
In his first time speaking with media since signing a one-year contract, Syndergaard shared his appreciation for Dodger Stadium and excitement he has with getting to pitch there on a regular basis.
“This is a pretty surreal moment. It’s been my dream to play for the Dodgers ever since I was first introduced to Dodger Stadium in 2015,” he said. Just the energy and atmosphere that Dodger fans create, the goosebumps I get every time I step on the field as a visiting player, and I feel like my performance is always elevated when I play there.
“Even this year, when I kind of had a down year based off my expectations and my standards, I still feel like the one start I had at Dodger Stadium was some of the best stuff I had.
“I have the utmost confidence in the staff and organization to help me get back to being the old me. I just really am fortunate and blessed to play for such a great organization that the Dodgers are.”
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