Noah Syndergaard gave his first press conference as a member of the Angels on Friday, days after signing a one-year deal with the team. Speaking with the media, he shed some light on the decision to leave the Mets, the only major league team for which he’s played.
During the virtual press conference, Syndergaard was asked if the Mets being without a manager and general manager at the time of his decision played a factor. He acknowledged that was on his mind as he weighed heading to a new team vs. taking the Mets’ $18.4 million qualifying offer.
“It definitely was in the back of my head a little bit,” Syndergaard said. “This is a really important year for me. This is kind of a make-or-break time for me. I didn’t want to kind of gamble with the kind of uncertainty that has been going on with them.”
The Mets are looking to overhaul most of the organization in the second offseason under owner Steve Cohen. The team officially came to terms with its new general manager Billy Eppler, coincidentally the former GM of the Angels, on Thursday, after Syndergaard had already agreed to a deal with the Angels. The team has not yet hired a new manager, after parting ways with Luis Rojas.
Syndergaard was asked if he still felt wanted by the Mets, after the team was reportedly fairly quiet around him aside from giving the qualifying offer. He took issue with the Mets’ lack of communication, he said, but his interview with Angels GM Perry Minasian played a big role too.
“I never got that sort of vibe from them at all,” Syndergaard said. “I just knew that they had a lot on their plate, and a lot going on with them, in search of finding the GM, but I just really appreciated the way that Perry came with a game plan that was extremely thorough and with all the resources and I felt really confident in that.”
The 29-year-old pitcher added that leaving the Mets “was the hardest decision of my life,” but he believes it was ultimately the right one.
Syndergaard will make $21 million with the Angels in 2022, after being limited to just two innings over two appearances in 2021 and missing the entire shortened 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
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Source : Sports Illustrated