After recently getting designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday night, it looks as though Noah Syndergaard will be looking for a new home if he were to clear waivers, and what better place than Boston, where the starting pitching has scuffled all season long.
Now, while his 2-6 record with a 6.50 ERA may not scream savior to many, the Red Sox need a starter who has actually pitched in the last few seasons, consistently at that. Right now, their rotation consists of Chris Sale, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, and Tanner Houck (occasionally Nick Pivetta).
On paper, that is a formidable rotation, but the reality is the only one that inspires any sort of confidence right now is Bello. Sure, Sale and Paxton have had their days, but Bello is a surefire ace almost every time out there - allowing three or more runs only three times all season. To top it off, Bello even won one of those games.
Where would Syndergaard fit in?
Now, while Boston finally has its five-man rotation back in order, the truth is Syndergaard would not have a place on the major-league roster to start, at least not if they signed him today, and given his numbers it might do him some good to have some remediation in the minor leagues to start.
With that said, the flier the Red Sox should take is of a low-risk, high-reward option. What they can do is sign him to a major-league contract, but immediately send him to Triple-A Worcester with the promise to get him some days out of the bullpen, just to get in the rhythm again. That way, he can be placed on the 40-man roster when rosters expand starting on September 1st.
When Boston brings him up, he can become an immediate fixture in the rotation, and carry the Red Sox into the playoffs - all while lowering the work load for pitchers like Bello, who they will need in the playoffs, but need their rest beforehand.
Then think about this... Once the postseason rolls around, and with Syndergaard will not be eligible to play, they can roll out a rested rotation, who didn't over-exert themselves, didn't overthink things, and, perhaps best of all, didn't get hurt in perhaps the most grueling part of the season.
And another nugget too, if Syndergaard does well, chances are he will be looking to just stay on a major-league roster so there's a chance he stays in Boston, on a team-friendly deal no less - giving them a chance to have an experienced, consistent, starter to start out 2024.