New York Mets acquire Marcus Stroman: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
By Allen Settle
Marcus Stroman is joining the New York Mets in a surprising deadline trade. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of this move.
The New York Mets have reportedly acquired starting pitcher Marcus Stroman in a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The shocking move marks the latest in a long line of aggressive, win-now, transactions by General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Reports state that the Mets are sending top pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson to Toronto in exchange for the 2019 All-Star starter.
Stroman, who has played his entire six-year career with the Blue Jays, was one of the biggest names in the pool of available pitchers. Despite a 6-11 record with the struggling Jays, Stroman is in the middle of one of his best seasons in the major leagues. He currently holds an impressive 99 strikeouts and 2.96 ERA.
The Mets now boast one of the deepest and best rotations in MLB. Stroman joins reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. If the Mets elect to retain their other valuable starters Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz, their five-man rotation will be absolutely daunting for opposing teams. The move would also allow Jason Vargas to potentially transition to a long reliever role in the bullpen.
On another positive note, there is speculation that the trade may be the first of multiple Mets deals before the deadline.
While Stroman gives the Mets a boost of fresh energy, the team’s position in the standings remains the same. New York currently sits 11.5 games behind the NL East-leading Braves and six games behind the highly competitive final NL wildcard spot.
On paper Stroman’s skill set doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the Mets’ roster. One of the pitcher’s biggest strengths is his ability to force opposing hitters into grounding out. Buster Olney of ESPN points out that the Mets have the worst defensive infield in baseball.
The Stroman deal further depletes the team’s already barren farm system. This move, much like the Robinson Cano trade sacrifices the team’s future in favor of a win-now roster.
This puts a great deal of pressure on the Mets to make a serious postseason run in 2019. It’s do-or-die time for Van Wagenen and the new-look team.
Fans of the team are holding out hope the franchise can catch fire over the course of the next few months and claim one of the Wild Card spots. If they can get deGrom on the mound in a win-and-move-on scenario, who knows what will happen.
However, the fact remains that a team with less than a 10% chance of making the playoffs has now mortgaged more of its future in pursuit of building a current contender. While the team’s passion for winning has created some exciting headlines, both the present and future state of the team feels very much in jeopardy.
I am on record as saying that the Mets should use the trade deadline to sell and begin a proper rebuild. Because the Stroman deal appears to be an obvious move in the other direction, I am skeptical. I am also very concerned that the team is behaving more like a clear division winner and World Series favorite than a team under .500. However, it seems as though the team is in a position to make this the first in a series of transactions.
As a result, the best course of action at this point is to be patient. Perhaps the Mets will sell other pieces to rebuild their farm system. Maybe the team will find a way to flip Stroman for assets in the future. There is also a chance they look to add more MLB talent to their roster in search of the playoff berth they so desperately desire.
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As things currently stand, only one fact is certain: The Mets are certainly one of the most interesting franchises in baseball!