Does Angels-Noah Syndergaard deal affect Max Scherzer’s return to Dodgers?

Shortly before the Los Angeles Dodgers season ended and the questions started really getting louder, we learned that Max Scherzer was expected to garner heavy interest from one specific team once he hit the open market. 

It was the neighboring Los Angeles Angels, who were said to have pull because Mike Trout was going to be recruiting some top starters in an effort to finally get this team back to the playoffs. And on Tuesday, Trout and the Angels began that journey.

It wasn’t exactly anything groundbreaking, but LAA swiped Noah Syndergaard from the New York Mets after giving him $3 million more than the qualifying offer. It’s only a one-year deal for a guy who’s pitched two innings since the start of 2020, but it’s a step in the right direction for the hapless Angels, who have two of the best players in the sport and need to maximize this window.

But perhaps this was a minor move to set up a major one. Syndergaard, despite his lack of innings in recent years, still possesses an incredibly high ceiling. And he’ll be joining a star in Shoehei Ohtani as well as some promising young arms in Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez. Maybe Alex Cobb returns, too?

With just $132 million to be guaranteed on the books for the Angels in 2022, could their deep pockets and potential realistically sway Scherzer?

Could the Angels’ addition of Noah Syndergaard affect the Dodgers with Max Scherzer?

Hey, if Scherzer is going to get close to $50 million per year like former GM Jim Bowden predicted earlier this offseason, then the Angels could certainly offer it without much of a concern. The addition of Syndergaard shows they’re serious about finally putting this all together and paying for what they need to get it done.

Additionally, if you look at the Angels’ competition in the division, that might be more appealing to Scherzer. The Astros are set to lose Carlos Correa and Zack Greinke, leaving them without arguably their best player and maybe two effective starting pitchers. The Rangers stink. The Athletics are entering a rebuild. The Mariners are the only other team to be taken somewhat seriously, but are they ever one to fear?

The NL West is a much different story. The Giants, though they’re expected to lose key contributors, were just the team team in baseball. The Padres brought in Bob Melvin and might finally find a path to a deep playoff run. Those are two legitimate World Series contenders residing in your backyard.

Throw in the fact we recently go this from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, and you really start to wonder:

“Scherzer, who was expected to re-sign with Dodgers, appears now he may be looking elsewhere. He’s not closing the door on a possible return, but his two-month stay hardly left him enamored enough to stay if someone else was offering more money.”

All we’re saying? The Dodgers better figure out their plan sooner than later because this unpredictable offseason might move faster in some areas when we’re least expecting it.