A day after a New York Post story came out regarding Noah Syndergaard's desire to not pitch to Wilson Ramos and a "livid" confrontation he had with his bosses over it, Syndergaard addressed the situation.
"First and foremost, the whole idea that we had a livid (discussion) or I was livid with the conversation was completely false," Syndergaard said outside the Mets' clubhouse before Tuesday night's game. "We had a very cordial and adult conversation. As far as Wilson, I have nothing but respect for the guy. It doesn't change our relationship between one another. He busts his ass every day."
Syndergaard said it was "unfortunate" his meetings with team brass leaked out and that he was just having "open dialogue with the front office and coaching staff" to try to get to the bottom of "the extreme splits" that have impacted him when Ramos catches him instead of Tomas Nido
Syndergaard has generally not performed well this season when Ramos is his catcher, with his ERA over 5.00. He has much better numbers when Nido is behind the plate, which could be due in part to Nido's framing ability allowing him to "steal" strikes in the lower part of the zone -- where Syndergaard pounds his two-seam fastball with regularity.
Syndergaard also spoke about the "symbiotic relationship" pitchers have with certain catchers, but gave diplomatic answers regarding how he'll handle things going forward if Ramos continues to catch him.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said earlier Tuesday that the team hadn't yet decided who would catch Syndergaard's next start.
As far as the Mets' decision to grant Jacob deGrom's request of having then-backup catcher Devin Mesoraco catch most of his starts last season, Callaway explained it was an easier situation because the Mets were out of the playoff race and deGrom was trying to win a Cy Young award.
While Callaway's points are valid, Syndergaard also has valid points. And the situation is even touchier since it was Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen (then deGrom's agent) who encouraged him to request a personal catcher last season.
Van Wagenen is on the other side of things now, and spoke about the situation on Monday.
"Noah has expressed his issues with his comfortability with throwing to Wilson," Van Wagenen said. "I respect him for sharing those feelings. We listened to him. He understands our thought process that we might have him throwing to other catchers throughout the course of the season. We'll continue to evaluate that on a day-by-day basis and do what gives us the best chance to win."
Asked about his current relationship with Mets leadership, Syndergaard was measured.
"As of right now, I respect each and every one of those guys," he said. "I'm really appreciative of the open dialogue and conversations that I'm able to have. Hopefully we're able to grow out of it."
Syndergaard was pressed further by reporters, though, and asked if he felt "wanted" by the Mets in the wake of this issue and him being dangled at the trade deadline. After a pause, Syndergaard answered.
"I admit I can be stubborn at times, but it's just that I want the best for the team and I'm gonna go out there and compete at a level that I think I can compete at," Syndergaard said. "I'd say I'm welcome and wanted here."
The long-term future between Syndergaard and the Mets is very much up in the air, as SNY's Andy Martino has reported. And the current situation has added another layer to the intrigue.