Noah Syndergaard, Dodgers reach contract agreement

LOS ANGELES — Finding starting pitching depth was the top priority for the Dodgers this offseason. They found some on Wednesday, signing right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $13 million deal, multiple sources told MLB.com.

The deal is not official and the club has not yet confirmed the move.

After a promising start to his career with the Mets, Syndergaard, who is famously nicknamed “Thor,” battled injuries from 2017-21, but he was finally able to stay healthy and had a bounce-back season with the Angels and Phillies in ‘ 22. The 30-year-old went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 25 appearances (24 starts) last season and helped stabilize a Phillies rotation that reached the World Series.

Syndergaard broke into the Majors as a hard-thrower, but he has recently changed his repertoire after being plagued by injuries. He relies mostly on a sinker-slider combination and averages 93-94 mph on the heater, as opposed to 97-98 mph before undergoing Tommy John surgery before the 2020 season.

Though his stuff might look different, the Dodgers believe Syndergaard can still be effective and provide exactly what they need in a starting rotation that required help entering the winter. There could also be an uptick in velocity now that he’ll be a few seasons removed from Tommy John.

With a huge hole to fill in the back end of the rotation, the Dodgers are banking on Syndergaard to continue his solid production. After losing Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney to free agency and missing out on Justin Verlander earlier in the offseason, Los Angeles in the market for a back-end starter.

There were multiple options at the Dodgers’ disposal, but Syndergaard’s upside is what ultimately attracted Los Angeles. Getting Syndergaard on a one-year deal also helps the Dodgers stay flexible with their payroll next winter. The righty, who will bet on himself with a one-year deal, was also determined to land with the Dodgers given their track record of getting the most out of players.

It has been a very quiet offseason for the Dodgers, especially when you consider what the Giants, Padres and Mets have been able to accomplish. But Los Angeles maintains that it feels confident with the core it has entering next season. Now, it’s about continuing to round out the roster, and the Dodgers believe they’ve done that — at least on the pitching side — with the signing of Syndergaard and the trade with the Rays for relieving JP Feyereisen.

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