After a solid 2019 in which Marcus Stroman pitched to a 3.22 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP over 184 1/3 innings between the Blue Jays and Mets, he missed all of 2020 while first dealing with a left calf tear suffered during Summer Camp and then electing not to play.
After a solid 2019 in which Marcus Stroman pitched to a 3.22 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP over 184 1/3 innings between the Blue Jays and Mets, he missed all of 2020 while first dealing with a left calf tear suffered during Summer Camp and then electing not to play. That may have caused potential suitors some hesitation, but Stroman took himself off the free-agent market by accepting the Mets' one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer.
Stroman accepts Mets' QO
Nov. 11: Stroman is returning to Queens. The right-hander tweeted Wednesday that he has accepted the Mets' one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer, confirming a report by USA Today's Metsmerized site.
It's hard to blame Stroman for accepting the Mets' offer, seeing how he didn't pitch in 2020 and was set to enter a market filled with uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic. Stroman will now return to New York and have a chance to build his case with a solid season in '21 before re-entering next year's free-agent market as a 30-year-old. The righty won four of his six decision and posted a 3.77 ERA across 11 starts for the Mets following the 2019 Trade Deadline.
Are Stroman and the Twins a perfect fit?
Nov. 6: Three members of the Twins' 2020 starting rotation are free agents -- Jake Odorizzi, Rich Hill and Homer Bailey. Meanwhile, Minnesota has about $32 million coming off the books this offseason with Odorizzi, Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Avila. Where will the Twins turn for starting pitching as they look to defend their two consecutive AL Central titles? MLB.com's Mark Feinsand writes that since the biggest free-agent prize on the starting pitching market, Trevor Bauer, is likely out of Minnesota's price range, Stroman could be a great fit to slot in behind Kenta Maeda and José Berríos. More >
Is Stroman an underrated free agent?
Nov. 4: Marcus Stroman elected not to play in 2020, but he was an All-Star in 2019 and has been one of the better right-handed starters in baseball over the years. Still, his career strikeout percentage of 19.5% is relatively low in the current era of high strikeouts among pitchers, which some have thought would detract from his free agency. But Alex Fast made the case on MLB Network's MLB Now that Stroman is a lot better than some give him credit for.
"Stroman had 100 or more innings pitched and a FIP below 4.00 in five seasons from 2014-19," Fast said. "The only pitchers with more are Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg and Jacob deGrom. Those are some pretty elite names to be a part of, and I really want to see him go to a team that will allow him to throw his slider. He was having a lot of success in terms of swinging strike when he was in Toronto. He goes to the Mets and they've increased his sinker usage, which doesn't necessarily play with a team that has poor infield defense. I want to see him go to a team that allows him to throw his slider, and I think he could have a lot of success."
Stroman owns a career ERA of 3.76, with a career FIP of 3.64.
Could Stroman accept QO?
Nov. 1: The Mets extended a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer to Stroman on Sunday, and the right-hander has 10 days to accept or decline it.
In the history of the QO, only eight players out of the 90 to receive one prior to 2020 have accepted it. That said, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Stroman will reject the offer.
An $18.9 million salary is likely more than he would be able to command on a multi-year deal this offseason, coming off a year in which he didn’t throw a pitch in the Majors, first suffering a calf injury and then electing not to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
If Stroman rejects the QO, it would also cause other teams to have to forfeit one or more Draft picks to sign him, which could restrict his market.
It’s possible Stroman, who turns 30 years old next May, could accept the qualifying offer, then try to score a better multi-year deal next offseason, when he wouldn’t be eligible to receive another QO.
Is return to Mets a possibility for Stroman?
Oct. 21: Stroman re-signing with the Mets would help solidify their rotation behind ace Jacob deGrom, writes SNY's Danny Abriano.
Even though Stroman elected not to pitch for the Mets this season, he could still come back as a free agent. Abriano suggests Stroman as one of the top external candidates for the Mets, along with Trevor Bauer, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton. The SNY article also notes that New York could extend Stroman a one-year qualifying offer for 2021, although there's no guarantee he'd accept a qualifying offer if he wants to test free agency.
Angels fans make their case to Stroman
Sept. 30: Always active on social media, Stroman took an opportunity to engage some Angels fans on Twitter who want to see Mike Trout get back to the postseason.
The Angels haven't made the playoffs since 2014, Trout's only career postseason appearance. Their starting rotation has been a major area of need during their six-year playoff drought.
Stroman also responded "You [never] know" to a fan who said he'd love to see the right-hander join the Angels.