The Los Angeles Dodgers signed starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard this week to a one-year deal worth $13 million.
You can earn an additional $1.5 million in bonuses and incentives based on performance.
That’s a significant drop from the one-year deal he signed with the Los Angeles Angels last season for $21 million.
The Angels signed him for $21 million a year ago. https://t.co/bxCQgkwHDE
—Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 14, 2022
Even with a clearly inflated market, questions about Syndergaard’s fastball speed and lead affected his 2023 salary.
When he signed with the Angels last year, he had just returned from Tommy John surgery and hadn’t racked up enough innings to judge his material, speed and command.
Now that he’s pitched a full season, teams probably didn’t like the fact that his fastball averaged 94-95 mph, down from the 97-98 mph he used to pump before hurting his shoulder in 2020.
Syndergaard’s ERA and WHIP weren’t too bad, as he finished with 3.94 and 1.25 between the Angels and Philadelphia Phillies.
The most problematic stat in his case is his strikeout rate.
Recovering your punching potential is a priority
His career K rating is 24.8 percent, and he posted 16.8 percent in 2022.
That’s not encouraging.
If there’s one organization willing to dig in and help Syndergaard recapture his speed and strikeout potential, it’s the Dodgers.
They have done it with many pitchers in the past.
‘Thor’ certainly presents a challenge for them, which is the fact that his surgery may have dropped a few miles per hour permanently.
However, that is still to be determined, and even if that were the case, there are other ways to strike out more people: better control, a change in the pitch mix, working on the shape of the secondary pitches, increasing the speed of turn etc
Syndergaard landed with the perfect organization for what he is looking for at this stage of his career.
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