In 1987, the playoff bound Detroit Tigers were looking for a starting pitcher to solidify their rotation. The Atlanta Braves were willing to part with Doyle Alexander, but they wanted a young pitcher in return. They put two names out there for the Tigers and said, “Give us either one”. The Tigers held on to Steve Searcy who was closer to the majors and gave up on a low minor leaguer the Brave scouts coveted – the recently enshrined Hall of Famer John Smoltz.
Three years ago, the Mets put the NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey on the market. Toronto bit and they were willing to give up the Mets prime target in the deal, Travis D’arnaud. Years from now, Mets lore will say that the deal would not have happened if the Blue Jays hadn’t tossed in a young righty named Noah Syndergaard, but at the time he barely made the list of Baseball’s Top 100 Prospects sliding in at #95.
A little more than a year ago, Noah Syndergaard did not travel North with the team. Instead, he was farmed out to the AAA Las Vegas 51’s for what was called “seasoning” like he was a tomato or something.
There were concerns about demeanor on the mound and his ability to control himself. Never was there a question about his pitching arsenal. It seemed like it was more about the confidence level on both sides, but the pendulum swung more to Syndergaard on that question. He went 3-0 with the 51’s and was called up on May 5.
And the rest is just the beginning of what they say is history in the making……….