The Los Angeles Angels made their first major move of the free agency period this past week when they came to terms with former New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard on a one-year deal worth $21 million.
There was much speculation that Syndergaard would opt to return to the Mets, but in the end, he elected to sign with the Angels.
Syndergaard joins the Angels following back-to-back injury-riddled seasons where he combined for a mere two innings pitched. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020, which subsequently ruled him out from last year’s shortened season. This past season was a roller-coaster one for him, which included a setback due to elbow inflammation and five rehab appearances in the minor leagues.
Thus, Syndergaard is expected to be on an innings limitation for the upcoming new campaign, which he touched on during his introductory press conference with the team on Friday.
“My understanding is there will be some sort of [innings] limitation,” Syndergaard said. “But I’m confident the six-man will definitely help me stay healthy.”
The Angels opted to go with a six-man rotation this past season as a way to fully integrate Shohei Ohtani as a two-way player. However, Ohtani was the lone pitcher on the roster who logged at least 100.0-plus innings pitched, as a multitude of injuries forced the team to call on 17 different players to notch at least one start over the campaign.
It is not known on just the exact innings limit that Syndergaard will be on, but in the big picture, he is looking forward to doing what he can to be a go-to pitcher for the team.
“I think if I can get back to my old self, I can form a one-two punch with myself and Shohei,” Syndergaard said. “With all the young talent the Angels have, I think we can really make a run at this. When you think of the Angels, you think of the booming offense. They have some of the most exciting players in the game in Mike Trout, Shohei, Anthony Rendon, Jared Walsh.
“I think just some of their missing pieces was starting pitching, and I just hope I can fill that role.”
It remains to be seen on just what other moves Angels general manager Perry Minasian has in mind for the offseason.