Stroman all in on Mets: 'Coming home is huge'

July 29th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Initially, said, he was “shocked” to learn on Sunday that he was headed to the Mets. Given all the rumors surrounding his name, Stroman figured the Blue Jays would trade him prior to Wednesday’s Trade Deadline. But he hadn’t really considered that the Mets were an option until general manager Brodie Van Wagenen came calling.

When Van Wagenen did, Stroman’s initial shock gave way to “a level of excitement.”

“Coming home is huge,” Stroman, a Long Island native, said on a conference call Monday. “So yeah, I’m excited to be a New York Met. I can’t wait to get there and be a part of it.”

After trading him, Blue Jays officials conducted an exit interview with Stroman, which he said escalated when he became emotional -- thus, reports of a commotion behind closed doors in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse. Stroman said he “didn’t like how a couple things were handled along the process,” though he declined to say what those things were. He rejected any insinuation that he had been hoping to go to the Yankees or any other team, saying he knew the Deadline would be unpredictable.

“It had nothing to do with the Mets at all,” Stroman said of the clubhouse commotion. “It all hit me kind of quick. Once I kind of settled and I talked to my family, the excitement settled in. To be back home, to pitch in New York, is going to be an amazing time. I can’t wait.”

In New York, Stroman will join the Mets’ rotation immediately, likely slotting in at the end of this week in Pittsburgh. Under team control through the end of next season, Stroman intends to grow some sort of roots with the Mets after five-and-a-half seasons in Toronto. Although his trade led to the initial expectation that the Mets might look to flip him to another club, Stroman said Van Wagenen “didn’t make it seem like I’m going to be going anywhere for a bit.”

“So I’m excited to be in New York,” the 2019 All-Star added.

More likely, the Mets will trade one or two of Stroman’s new rotation-mates -- Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard or Jason Vargas -- rather than him. That means Stroman will bring his unique brand of pitching to Flushing, after posting a 6-11 record and 2.96 ERA over 21 starts for the Blue Jays. Stroman, who often punctuated strikeouts in Toronto with displays of emotion, doesn’t plan on changing anytime soon.

“My energy is extremely authentic, man,” Stroman said. “I love playing the game of baseball. I love competing. When I’m between those lines, it’s kind of a different savage, a different demon that is out there. I kind of go to a dark place to put myself where I need to be. I’m very passionate and I’m very emotional. But away from the field, I’m very relaxed and I’m kind of the opposite. So I’m excited. If my energy rubs off on some of the guys, that would be amazing.”