Noah Syndergaard hopes to 'get back to the old me' with Dodgers

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- Noah Syndergaard is hoping to have the same success on a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers as Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney.

"I feel like everything they touch turns to gold," Syndergaard said during a conference call Monday. "I definitely want to be in that category."

Anderson and Heaney signed with the Dodgers before last season and parlayed that into multiyear contracts with other teams this offseason.

Anderson received a $39 million, three-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels after going 15-5 for the Dodgers and finishing fifth in the NL with a 2.57 ERA.

Heaney, who signed a $25 million, two-year contract with the Texas Rangers, was limited to 14 starts for the NL West champions because of shoulder injuries but went 4-4 with a career-best 3.10 ERA.

Syndergaard's one-year deal with the Dodgers is for $13 million. He can earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses: $500,000 each for 130, 150 and 175 innings pitched.

The right-hander said he had interest in other teams, but the Dodgers were at the top of his list. Syndergaard said he's always loved pitching at Dodger Stadium, and his one start there last season was one of his best of the year.

"I feel like my performance has always elevated when I played there. I have the utmost confidence to help me get back to the old me," he said.

Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery in March 2020 before the season was pushed back and shortened by the pandemic. An injury setback delayed his return in 2021 before he made two brief appearances for the New York Mets late in the season.

He was 10-10 with a 4.28 ERA for the Angels andPhiladelphia Phillieslast season. The 30-year-old was traded to NL champion Philadelphia at the trade deadline in early August.

"There were a lot of starts where I was fighting myself and not having confidence in my delivery," Syndergaard said. "It was hard to fix that during a season. It was kind of like trying to change the tires on a car while it was still moving."

Syndergaard's first seven seasons were with the Mets, who he earned an All-Star selection with in 2016. The 6-foot-6 Syndergaard, nicknamed Thor because of his size and flowing blond hair, was one of the hardest throwers in the majors with the Mets, his fastball regularly averaging 97 to 99 mph.

"Whatever I was doing last year was not the best version of me. I see no excuse as to why I can't get back to 100 mph and ever farther than that," he said.

Syndergaard is spending the holidays at home in Dallas, but will head to Arizona and the Dodgers' spring training complex in Glendale to begin offseason workouts.