Marcus Stroman – Mets Must-Have Free Agent

Marcus Stroman, Mets Starting Pitcher (Photo: Yahoo Sports)

Marcus Stroman is a young (30) and talented pitcher who leads the Mets in starts this year while carrying a 2.88 ERA. He can be a solid #3…

Marcus Stroman, at a diminutive 5’7″ 180 lbs, does not command a presence on the mound like most of his peers do today.

But one look into his penetrating eyes as a batter standing in to face him changes everything.

This year, a vicious competitor and stabilizer on the Mets rotation, Marcus Stroman will finish with 33 starts (projected to lead the league) while totaling around 180 innings.

Stroman’s 9-12 record is deceptive, and when looking at his stats, your attention must first be drawn to his sparking 2.88 ERA, well below his career ERA of 3.61.

Skimpy with the walks (40), he now totals four times that with 165 strikeouts. On only three occasions did Marcus Stroman surrender more than three runs in a given start.

In short, Marcus Stroman never beats himself, and he challenges you to beat him.

The Mets 2022 Projected Rotation

The Mets pie-in-the-sky rotation for 2022 has Jacob deGrom, followed by Noah Syndergaard in the two-hole, with Marcus Stroman as a would-be closer in a playoff series at number three.

Marcus Stroman in his early years with Toronto
Marcus Stroman in his early years with Toronto

Since coming to the Mets from the Toronto Blue Jays with cash in exchange for Simeon Woods Richardson (minors) and then prospect Anthony Kay, Stroman’s initial experience with the Mets was up and down, and the move from the American League to the Junior Circuit took some time and adjustment.

Stroman’s progress was further delayed by the arrival of the COVID virus that eventually forced his decision to sit out the entire 2020 season.

If there’s a knock on Marcus Stroman, he tends to be streaky. Looking, for example, at his game logs for this year, we see he came out of the gate on fire, winning four straight decisions, but that was followed by three consecutive losses and then three more stints of three losing decisions in a row.

Nevertheless, in a year where the Mets have seen the loss of Joey Lucchesi, Jacob deGrom, and David Peterson from their rotation, Marcus Stroman has been there for manager Luis Rojas every fifth day.

A Preview Of The Process With Stroman

In terms of money, Stroman will not come cheap. He has worked his way up to a yearly salary of $18.9 million through his arbitration years.

This would seem to eliminate any chance of the Mets making a Qualifying Offer to Stroman (expected to be about $20 million for 2022) that he would accept.

Unlike Syndergaard and Michael Conforto, who are also free agents this year and have expressed a desire to remain in New York, Stroman has elected to keep things quiet as to his intentions come December.

Unlike deGrom and Syndergaard, Stroman falls more into the category of being a “nice piece to have.”

Although I placed Stroman as a “must-have,” it’s likely the Mets will make Stroman a competitive offer, but if he balks, they are not apt to get into a bidding war for his services. By the same token, though, the Mets will not turn their back on him by not making an offer at all.

A good portion of the process will get reduced to what Stroman wants to do with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that most players are no longer around to see, given the six-year service requirement before a player reaches free-agent status.

Marcus Stroman’s plusses are his durability (more than 200 innings twice while with Toronto), plus his competitiveness and composure on the mound.

To reiterate, Marcus Stroman is an excellent piece for any team to have…

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