Mets: Predicting which starting pitcher they re-sign or extend for 2021
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have three starting pitchers set to hit free agency after the 2020 season: Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha. Which one is most likely to stick around for 2021?
Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John Surgery has put the New York Mets in a position of uncertainty even beyond 2020. While the game itself is going through questions itself, when we narrow in on the Mets and their starting rotation, it’s impossible to predict what the 2021 starting rotation will look like.
The main reason for this is that they have only two starters signed through next year. Ace Jacob deGrom and lefty Steven Matz are the only ones aside from Syndergaard who have a contract. Because Syndergaard will likely miss at least the start of the 2021 season, the team will need to look elsewhere.
For 2020, the club has a trio of experienced starters in the final year of their deals. Marcus Stroman is the lone returning player with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha prepared to make their Mets debut in 2020.
All three are in the final year of their deals and the team is going to need to re-sign or extend at least one. Who will it be?
Stroman is the guy who should command the largest contract of the bunch. Unless Porcello or Wacha put together a season for the ages, it’s Stroman whose wallet will get the fattest.
As a member of the Mets in 2019, Stroman went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts. Combined with what he did as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, the fiery right-hander was 10-13 with a 3.22 ERA.
Stroman is the kind of pitcher whose reputation may be better than his actual performance. He had down years in both 2016 and 2018. Lifetime, he’s 51-47 with a 3.76 ERA—the ERA suggesting he’s on average close to what he gave the Mets in late 2019.
It would be a dream to have any shot at extending Stroman early. However, it’s tough to imagine him passing up on the chance to have the rest of the league bid on him.
Stroman would be wise to at least test free agency. Whether or not he returns to New York is the bigger question and one we cannot answer right now.
Something to keep in mind with Stroman is that the Mets may feel he can give them more in the future than Syndergaard. For the longest time, it felt like the Mets were saving up to extend Thor. This was at least one way of looking at it when they passed on bringing Zack Wheeler back.
Things have certainly changed a lot since Wheeler left for the Philadelphia Phillies. Syndergaard’s future is far more uncertain. One way for the Mets to ensure they have a top-quality arm in the rotation beyond 2020 is an extension with Stroman.
Will it happen? They’re going to have to throw all of their resources into making him one financially happy man.