The Brewers could still stand to add another veteran starting pitcher to their rotation options before spring training begins. They have only added Joe Ross to the group this offseason while also bringing back Wade Miley and Colin Rea. The loss of other depth pieces means there are innings still available.
Early in the offseason, the starting pitching market went crazy, with teams paying very high prices for rotation pieces. The Brewers didn't play at the top of that market, and they won't be playing there now, but the Brewers will still be looking for some depth and now is the time when players are willing to move off their prices and sign with a team.
Recently, former first round pick and former Cy Young contender Noah Syndergaard held a showcase for interested teams that was reportedly quite impressive. There were at least 15 teams in attendance, including the Yankees.
While the Brewers were not specifically named as one of those teams in attendance, the Brewers have an MO of leaving no stone unturned and staying open to every opportunity. It certainly wouldn't surprise anyone if the Brewers were among half the teams in the league at this showcase.
Let's be clear, Syndergaard is not as good as he once was. In his first four seasons with the Mets, "Thor" posted a 2.93 ERA in more than 500 IP. In his four seasons since, Syndergaard has a 4.66 ERA in just 423 IP.
He had an okay season in 2022 with the Angels and Phillies, pitching to a 3.94 ERA in 134.2 IP. But he struggled last year with the Dodgers and then Guardians, with an ERA north of 7.00 in LA before being included in a salary dump trade to Cleveland, where he made six starts and then was released.
Still, teams are intrigued by the 6'6", 240 lb righty and the immense talent that they know is inside him. At his showcase, Syndergaard was reportedly throwing in the mid-90s, per Jon Heyman.
Injuries have derailed Syndergaard's career. He's not the same pitcher he was before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. The Brewers or any interested team won't be expecting 200 IP out of him at this point, they won't be expecting him to be an ace.
Syndergaard is a back of the rotation starter at best at this point that's likely looking at a one year deal for an affordable price.
For the Brewers, that's something they could use. Perhaps they can put Syndergaard in their state of the art pitching lab in Arizona, figure some things out, and maybe get him a bit closer to his old form, health permitting. It's certainly worth a shot and it's why the Brewers invested so much in their pitching lab to begin with.
Best case scenario, Syndergaard can give you some solid innings, taking the ball every fifth day with a decent ERA. Worst case, he struggles with injuries or pitches poorly and you can either just stash him on the IL or release him for very little sunk cost and move on to the young prospects waiting in line.
Syndergaard signed for $13MM with the Dodgers last season, and coming into 2024, that number is likely to be much lower with whatever team he signs with. The Brewers may be wise to look into bringing in Syndergaard if the price is right.