Imagine having to tell Justin’s weird agitator brother Ben that he’s going to the Yankees after Ben crafted an entire persona around defending the Astros and hating the Bronx? Chills. But we digress.
Verlander and the Yankees seems like either a match made in heaven or a match made in the actual darkest depths of hell. It’s either a perfect capper and comeback story en route to a World Series or it’s the most depressing version possible of, “Yeah, shoulda done that four years ago!” we’ve ever seen.
And, after the Noah Syndergaard-Angels deal was completed on Tuesday morning, the dollar amount necessary to F around and find out just increased ever so slightly, perhaps past the point of “expensive, but tolerable” and on into debilitating territory.
Verlander and Syndergaard were by far the two most comparable pitchers on the market. Both came with draft pick compensation attached, and were attempting to bounce back and build power pitcher credibility after two absent years; Verlander has thrown just six innings since his Cy Young 2019 season, while Syndergaard has thrown just two total innings since that year.
Perhaps, most importantly, both were widely speculated to be quick signers, confirmed by Jeff Passan on Monday morning on Jomboy Media’s Talkin’ Baseball podcast.
Now, Syndergaard’s gone official for nearly $3 million more than the Mets’ one-year qualifying offer. Verlander, always thought to be eyeing a multi-year pact of some kind and betting on 15 years of evidence to get it, probably won’t waver on that thought as he swiftly tosses Houston’s offer in the nearest bangable trash can.
After the Thor pact, though, will the Yankees have to pony up even further?
Noah Syndergaard’s deal will hurt the Yankees on Justin Verlander.
Verlander’s track record, both recent and historic, is far superior to that of Syndergaard. If the younger, but more erratic and more damaged option is able to rake in $21 million, how high can Verlander’s AAV climb? Factor in the age, and it feels like the floor of his deal just leapt up from $20 million annually, at the very least. Maybe we’re now looking at two years and $45 million? Even that feels light, all of a sudden.
Syndergaard’s injury history is much more extensive than just “cut, print, Tommy John”. TJ feels more commonplace these days, and though it could take Verlander a while to get his rhythm, odds are he’ll be looking someone reminiscent of his old self by June. Thor? He’s been battling elbow issues dating back to 2017, as well as several other more minor dings (remember hand, foot and mouth disease?).
Additionally, it seems relevant that the Angels had reported interest in both arms. If LA’s now chosen Syndergaard and Verlander is also likely to drop this week, where else is he going? Who’s paying him? Verlander to the Angels and Thor back to the Mets seemed like the only way the Yankees wouldn’t be involved. Now?
Does the 39-year-old who missed the past two seasons really now hold all the leverage over the richest franchise in baseball as the clock ticks? Thanks again for the parting gift from NYC, Noah. Really appreciate it.