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The Mets and right-hander Noah Syndergaard have agreed to a contract for the 2021 season and will avoid going to salary arbitration, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (via Twitter).  Syndergaard will earn $9.7MM, which was also what he earned in 2020 when missing the entire season due to Tommy John surgery.

Since Syndergaard went under the knife last March, he isn’t likely to be back in action until May or June.  It isn’t yet clear how much game time Syndergaard will actually miss given the rumors about a possible delay to the start of the 2021 season, though regardless, the righty will have a somewhat limited amount of time to establish that he is both healthy and still somewhat close to his old ace-level self in advance of free agency in the 2021-22 offseason.  A Syndergaard who can check both of those boxes should still put himself in line for a substantial multi-year contract next winter, though his price ceiling will surely be impacted by his recent injury history.

Syndergaard’s status will also heavily impact the Mets’ plans for both this winter and the coming season, as an in-form Syndergaard will provide an enormous boost to the team’s starting rotation.  While the Mets have been linked to Trevor Bauer and other free agent hurlers this offseason, it’s possible the team could wait until the trade deadline in order to see what they have in Sydergaard before making any truly big-ticket pitching additions, which means the Mets could pursue lower-tier arms than Bauer this winter.

Even with Syndergaard’s deal now done, the Mets still have ten other arbitration-eligible players remaining.  Here are those projected salaries, as per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.

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