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Mets' uncertainty was not a 'gamble' Noah Syndergaard wanted to take

Noah Syndergaard talks about signing with the Angels

Noah Syndergaard talks about getting the chance to get a fresh start with the Angels, joining a six-man rotation and the team's star power

Noah Syndergaard said on Friday that he bolted to the Angels in part because of the "uncertainty" surrounding the Mets, who when he signed earlier this week did not yet have a general manager and still don’t have a manager.

"It was the hardest decision of my life," Syndergaard said on a Zoom call. "But I definitely think that I made the right decision."

The Mets on Friday introduced Billy Eppler as their new general manager in their own Zoom call that started at the exact moment as Syndergaard’s.

The Mets offered Syndergaard the $18.4-million qualifying offer and then waited for him to decide. The Angels aggressively wooed Syndergaard with a dinner with GM Perry Minasian and, eventually, a one-year, $21 million contract.

It wasn’t the money, Syndergaard said. It was the love.

"Just wanted a fresh start to get back to my old self," he said. "It was a no-brainer once I had that sit-down meeting with Perry. Had a really in-depth plan of attack to get me back to where I was."

Of the Mets, he said: "I didn’t really hear from them all that much in the last two months from the end of the season to now. I understand that they had a lot on their plate. They had to find a GM from the get-go . . . It was definitely in the back of my head a little bit. This is a really important year for me. This is kind of a make-or-break time for me. I didn’t want to kind of gamble on that kind of uncertainty that has been going on with them."

Syndergaard had previously said he didn’t want to leave New York and hoped to remain with the Mets after a two-year period in which he threw a total of two innings after Tommy John surgery.

Asked if he thought the Mets didn’t really want him back, Syndergaard said: "I never got that sort of vibe from them at all. I just knew that they had a lot on their plate and a lot going on with them in finding the GM. But I just really appreciated the way Perry came with a game plan that was extremely thorough."

Syndergaard joins a team with AL MVP Shohei Ohtani and future Hall of Famer Mike Trout. Because of Ohtani’s need to pitch in a six-man rotation, the Angels were able to offer Syndergaard a chance to manage his workload in 2022.

"Right now, [I’m] 100%," he said. "There’s no limitations. Rehab is officially over, so it’s just time to get down to business."

Syndergaard narrated an emotional video on social media to say thank you and goodbye to Mets fans earlier this week. On Friday, he got a chance to send a message to his new fanbase.

"My message to the Angels fans is I’m extremely grateful for them to welcome me into their home, their city," he said. "I hope I can help bring a ring back to you guys."

New York Sports