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Mets: Marcus Stroman needs to convince the team he’s worth a long-term deal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Marcus Stroman #7 of the New York Mets celebrates after Juan Lagares made the catch for the out to end the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Citi Field on August 21, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Marcus Stroman #7 of the New York Mets celebrates after Juan Lagares made the catch for the out to end the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Citi Field on August 21, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Marcus Stroman’s presence helped change the culture of the 2019 New York Mets. As far as a long-term deal goes, he’ll need to convince the team he’s worth the commitment.

When the New York Mets stunned us all and acquired Marcus Stroman at the trade deadline, there were a few thoughts about how the team should proceed. Because they continued to win games, the narrative went from “loading up for next year” to “trying to compete now.”

Whether the Mets make it to the 2019 postseason or not, Stroman should remain with the organization in 2020. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.

Stroman becomes a free agent after the 2020 season where he will pitch his age 29 season. It’s not a bad age to be when hitting the open market. Depending upon how well he performs in New York will determine just how many suitors he gets.

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Obviously, the Mets get first dibs on his services. Under contract with the team at the moment, they could always extend him early. Unlike an extension for a guy on a rookie contract or arbitration-eligible, the Mets can’t go cheap. To get his ink on the paper, they will need to tack on plenty of years and dollars for any deal they offer Stroman.

The question becomes, just how much are the Mets willing to spend on starting pitching? Jacob deGrom will earn a well-deserved hefty sum for the next several seasons. They would be wise to have at least one more elite-level starter alongside him. Other teams have made it work.

Stroman isn’t the kind of pitcher who deserves a $20 million per year deal. He’s a wonderful pitcher, but not a perennial Cy Young candidate like deGrom.

The market may tell a different tale when Stroman does reach free agency. In sports, it’s about when you become available as much as it is about who you are.

In the coming years, the Mets will also need to decide on the future of Noah Syndergaard. Even sooner, there’s Zack Wheeler to consider. Steven Matz isn’t quite in the same class as any of these men. Unless he takes a team-friendly deal, he’ll likely depart when his free agent year arrives or leave via trade at some point.

Age, ability, and the growing market should easily land Stroman a multi-year deal worth at least $15 million on average per season. It’s the next year of his life that will ultimately determine whether the AAV goes up or down. A tremendous finish to 2019, a great 2020, and dare I say, historic playoff performance, will all go a long way toward fattening up his bank account.

Next. Top Mets trade deadline deals of all-time

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When the Mets initially traded for Stroman, it felt like they need to extend him at some point to get the most out of the deal. Several weeks after, I feel differently. Brodie Van Wagenen should not double-down on the deal and lock him up for that reason alone. Stroman has plenty left to prove and more than a season’s worth of games to show the Mets he’s someone that belongs in the front seat.

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