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NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions

Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 12, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) pitches against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman accepts the qualifying offer worth $18.9 million dollars

One player the Mets missed badly was Marcus Stroman. After being acquired at the trade deadline in 2019, Stroman did not pitch in the 2020 season. He suffered a calf injury during “summer camp” and once he got enough service time to give him the full year, he ended up opting out.

Even though he didn’t pitch at all, the Mets decided to extend the $18.9 million-dollar qualifying offer to Stroman. Betting on himself instead of trying to get a long-term deal in the Covid market, Stroman decided to accept the qualifying offer and will be back this season.

I love this for Stroman and the Mets. He was unlikely to get the kind of deal he would want in free agency after missing the entire 2020 season. Instead of taking less than what he’d think he’s worth, he is betting on himself to have a great 2021 season and cashing in after.

The Mets get Stroman in a contract year. He will be eager to show what he’s got and should pitch well under those circumstances. I mean, look at what Trevor Bauer did in a contract year.

Stroman is a really solid mid-rotation arm. He likely slots in as the number three starter in the rotation to begin the year, behind Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco. He is an above-average third starter. When Noah Syndergaard comes back from injury in June, he would be the fourth starter. Probably the best fourth starter in baseball.

For this season, the Mets have one of the better rotations in the game. Marcus Stroman was an All-Star in 2019 after going 10-13 with a 3.22 ERA in 32 starts between the Mets and Blue Jays.

I am not sold on him long term quite yet, but this is a prove-it year for him. I believe the Mets will keep one of Syndergaard or Stroman past this season. If Stroman outpitches Syndergaard, I will not be opposed to having him here long term. Having him back on a one-year deal is very low risk and extremely high reward, so I love this move.

Grade: A

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