After 11 starts over a calendar year, with none coming in 2020, Marcus Stroman has officially opted out of this year’s Major League Baseball season for the New York Mets. A move that will in all likelihood end his tenure with the team.
The Mets traded for Stroman last year, as they hoped to ride a hot start to the back half of the season into the playoffs. A move that had been panned at the time, nearly brought the Mets into the second Wild Card spot at the end of the season. In return for Stroman, the Mets sent to the Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson. Anthony Kay made his major league debut at the end of last season as a September call-up and Richardson is widely viewed as one of the top prospects in the Blue Jays organization.
Marcus Stroman had not pitched for the Mets this year after suffering from a tear in his left calf. While he had been pitching in simulated games this season, the Mets had no plans to take the 29-year-old off the injury list until the tear had completely healed. Stroman joined Mets started Noah Syndergaard as two penciled in starters who have not thrown a pitch for the team this year, with Syndergaard undergoing Tommy John surgery in between the end of Spring Training and the postponement of the season.
By virtue of not opting out of the season until today, Marcus Stroman has secured himself six years of big league time, which will allow him to enter free agency this offseason. In a sport where so many general managers and team ownership groups manipulate the major league service aspect of free agency, it’s nice to see a player use this distinction to their advantage. Especially one who disagreed with the decision to play this year, but managed to still accrue the time necessary to enter free agency. I will always be on the side of the players getting over on ownership.
Stroman joins Yoenis Cespedes as members of the Mets that have chosen to opt-out of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Cespedes and Stroman had both been struggling with injuries throughout the restart. Cespedes had never even been cleared to run at full speed despite playing some time in the outfield and at designated hitter. Both men will enter free agency this winter.
The Mets have typically not been big money players for pitching in the past, but with new suitors expected to own the Mets going into next season, especially one like Stevie “Big Bucks” Cohen, the team might be able to hold on to the New York native.
Like everything with the Mets this season, we just have to sit back, relax, and wait for Steve Cohen to save us.