The starting pitching market has been rather intriguing to start the offseason. Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray both landed massive paydays from the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
However, there've been some one-year contracts tossed out this winter as well. The Cardinals signed both Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson to one-year deals with a team-option, and the Cincinnati Reds' pact with Nick Martinez amounts to a one-year contract as well since the right-hander can opt out after 2024.
But rather than chase a big-name in free agency or give up prospects in a trade for a pitcher like Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieber, should Cincinnati settle for one-year deal with a mid-tier pitcher and allow their young core to continue to develop? If so, which starters could be had on a one-year deal and who should the Reds avoid?
The Reds could sign Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal
FanSided's Robert Murray, during an appearance on Foul Territory, mentioned that Noah Syndergaard as a pitcher who's received interest from teams who believe he can bounce back following an atrocious season in 2023.
This would be a bit of an odd choice, but one would have to assume that the amount of guaranteed money offered to Syndergaard would be very little. Last season, Syndergaard was 2-6 with 6.50 ERA and just 56 strikeouts in less than 100 innings pitched.
However, in 2022, Noah Syndergaard looked mildly similar to the pitcher we're used to seeing on the mound. While splitting time between the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies, Syndergaard went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 134.2 innings of work.
The days of Thor are over. Syndergaard relies much more on pitching to contact than he does overpowering hitters. According to Baseball Savant, Syndergaard's average velocity on his heater was just 92.2 mph. But, the right-hander did a great job of keeping the base paths clear of free runners with a walk-rate of just 4.9-percent.
The free agent market is filled with teams looking to acquire some top-flight talent. A pitcher like Syndergaard, who's still just 31 years old, could look to sign a one-year, incentive-laden agreement and then enter free agency again after the 2024 season.
Perhaps the Reds would offer the perfect bounce-back opportunity for Syndergaard, while not tying up so much salary that it would prevent Cincinnait from allowing pitchers like Andrew Abbott and Connor Phillips the chance to develop.