In the past, the New York Mets have been open about their willingness to listen to offers for Noah Syndergaard, as with other players. But some rival evaluators believe the Mets will trade the right-hander before the July 31 deadline.
"It's beyond listening," said one. "They want to move him."
Rival evaluators also believe that the Mets are serious in their willingness to swap closer Edwin Diaz, who was the centerpiece of the team's pricey deal with Seattle.
Syndergaard, 26, won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season, and some teams have interest in him partly because of that two-plus years of control -- but largely it's because of his talent.
The San Diego Padres have talked to the Mets in the past about Syndergaard and envision the right-hander as the ace of a developing rotation. The Padres' farm system is loaded, creating lots of middle ground for San Diego to structure a deal.
Syndergaard has been erratic this season -- with a 7-5 record and 4.33 ERA -- but it seems unlikely that would deter possible suitors. Clubs like the Astros usually acquire players having created a plan to augment their performance. This is what Houston did with Charlie Morton when the team signed him to a two-year deal, and what it did with Justin Verlander after landing him in a trade at the end of August 2017.
The Braves, Yankees and Phillies are among the other clubs in search of starting pitching right now, but it seems highly unlikely the Mets would complete a deal with any of those division and market rivals.
The Dodgers are among the teams looking for elite relief help -- and Diaz certainly fits that description -- to help address the team's only real problem area.