Marcus Stroman returns to the New York Mets in 2021 with lots of excitement but also a little doubt.
The Steve Cohen era in New York began in a dramatic fashion. The newly appointed majority owner of the New York Mets had a legendary opening press conference in which he cast a clear vision for a future of winning. He also, much to the delight of Mets fans, stated his intentions of behaving more like a major market team by spending on top free agents. After an era defined by stinginess and ownership dysfunction under the Wilpon family, this was a breath of fresh air to the Mets faithful.
It was also encouraging to former Met and free agent pitcher Marcus Stroman. The former All-Star quickly took to Twitter to express his optimism in the team’s new ownership. He later accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer of a one-year, $18.9 million deal.
Will Stroman excel now that he’s locked in with the Mets? Will an additional season in Queens be enough to salvage the infamous trade that brought him from Toronto to New York? Here’s the good, bad, and ugly of Stroman’s return.
There’s a lot of good in this union. Stroman represents an important signing at a major position of need. MLB recently ranked him as the sixth-best free agent available in the 2020 offseason.
The former Blue Jay is projected to post somewhere in the realm of 175 innings to the tune of an ERA in the high threes and 140 strikeouts. He is also projected to win 11 games. This would be a massive plus for New York!
This level of production will be a critically important addition to a Mets team that was starved for quality innings from their starting staff. Injuries to Noah Syndergaard and poor performances by Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha left what was expected to be a strong rotation in shambles.
Jacob deGrom was his usual Cy Young caliber self. However, rookie David Peterson was the only other consistent starter throughout the season. Infusing Stroman into the mix automatically improves the prospects of this key unit. He should immediately slot into the number two spot in the rotation and bring a level of stability and veteran leadership. Add in the potential of a Syndergaard return, which is expected sometime in June, and the Mets will have reformed an elite three-headed monster.
It is also worth noting that his career reputation as a ground ball pitcher could be greatly aided by a bolstered defense. Andres Gimenez and his dynamic glove should receive consistent playing time in the infield. The team is also searching for upgrades at centerfield. They may potentially seek an upgrade at shortstop as well. If the universal DH is indeed retained, the team will be able to easily keep questionable defenders like Dom Smith off the field. If this is the case, Stroman will be primed for great success.