Right-hander Noah Syndergaard and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a one-year contract, sources told ESPN, as the 30-year-old hopes to be the latest pitcher to find a midcareer renaissance with the team well-known for extracting the best from talented arms.
Los Angeles has lost left-handers Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, both of whom it signed last year to one-year deals, in free agency this winter -- Anderson for three years and $39 million to the Los Angeles Angels and Heaney for two years and $25 million to the Texas Rangers.
Last season, Syndergaard signed a one-year, $21 million deal with the Angels and started 15 games before a trade-deadline deal sent him to the Philadelphia Phillies. He threw 134⅔ innings between the teams -- his highest figure since 2019 -- and posted a 3.94 ERA.
Although it was seen as a successful return from his 2020 Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard's hope is to return to his prime self. At his peak, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, a flamethrowing strikeout artist with the look of a Norse god. He debuted with the New York Mets in 2015, started a World Series game, made the All-Star team the next season and, at 23, looked destined for stardom.
Arm injuries slowed his progress and stole the 100 mph-plus velocity that was his hallmark. In his last full season with the Mets, Syndergaard threw a career-best 197⅔ innings but posted a career-worst 4.28 ERA.
His return with the Angels featured a fastball that sat closer to 94 mph than the 98 he had pumped with the Mets. He remained excellent at preventing home runs, though, and a walk rate of just over two per nine innings helped offset the dip in his strikeout rate.
The Dodgers are betting they can get more out of Syndergaard.
Anderson thrived last season with the Dodgers, with a 2.57 ERA in 178⅔ innings, and Heaney's strikeout rate of 13.6 per nine was among the league leaders.
Syndergaard has spent time at multiple pitching facilities this winter, working with trainers to better understand the strengths of his arsenal and help rebuild lost velocity.