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Why the Twins should target Mets starters Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom

Either ace would improve the rotation dramatically.

If the Twins are going to add a starting pitcher by the trade deadline, it'd be in their best interest to go after an ace.

Even though adding a mid-rotation piece would be an upgrade over a Michael Pineda or Martin Perez, adding a legitimate front-line starter makes everyone in the rotation better.

We've mentioned players like Madison Bumgarner and Marcus Stroman before but if the Twins are all-in for this season, they should check the availability on Mets starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.

Syndergaard

The former first-round pick will be 27 in August and is having a down season from his usual dominance.

In 14 starts this season, Syndergaard has a 4.45 ERA in 89 innings, with 88 strikeouts and 22 walks. However, his Field Independent Pitching (or FIP) suggests he's been a bit unlucky this season.

FIP is sabermetric statistic that estimates a pitcher's run prevention, independent of the performance of their defense, luck and sequencing.

Syndergaard's FIP is nearly a whole run lower (3.47) than his ERA, suggesting that the Mets' defense has played a part in the uptick in his ERA.

He still throws extremely hard, as his four-seem fastball averages 97.7 mph, which is right on line with his career average. 

Maybe the most attractive trait about Syndergaard is he's under team control through 2021. Something the Twins' brass has been very vocal about if they were to acquire talent at the deadline.

deGrom

deGrom, 31, is the reigning NL Cy Young award winner and is in a similar boat as Syndergaard. His ERA this season (3.45) is higher than his career mark (2.73) but his FIP (3.12) suggests he's also been unlucky.

In 75 innings, deGrom has 94 strikeouts and just 20 walks. He's actually been throwing harder this season, as his fastball averages 96.6 mph and his slider comes in at a devastating 92.6 mph, according to FanGraphs.

deGrom inked a five-year extension in March worth $137.5 million, but it's similar to Max Scherzer's contract which includes deferred money well after he retires. Here's how his contract breaks down year-by-year.

  • 2019: $9 milllion
  • 2020: $25 million 
  • 2021: $35.5 million 
  • 2022: $35.5 million (player may opt out)
  • 2023: $32.5 million 
  • 2024: $32.5 million (team option)

So would the Twins be willing to take on that contract and also give up something worthwhile in return? That remains to be seen.

Glen Perkins is all in

Former Twins All-Star reliever Glen Perkins is all-in on the idea of the Twins targeting one of the two pitchers.

"I'm looking at the Mets guys. I'm looking at Syndergaard and deGrom," said Perkins on SKOR North 1500-AM this week. "If those guys are available, I think you've got to try and work something out."

When asked if he would be ok with centering a trade around top prospect Royce Lewis, Perkins said: "I don't know if I particularly have a problem with that." 

Lewis is struggling a bit in his third season in the minors and certainly won't be coming up to the Twins this season or in 2020 for that matter. At just 20-years-old, he's playing in Fort Myers at advanced A ball. 

If he indeed won't be coming to the big leagues until 2021, who knows how good the Twins will be by then. Also, Jorge Polanco is having a breakout season and is in line to start the All-Star Game. So the Twins need for a shortstop isn't pressing at all.

The Twins are likely going to add pitching before the trade deadline, but how much they're willing to give up for big names will be interesting to watch unfold. If they want a bonafide ace, parting with their top prospect might be the asking price.

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