Rather than test free agency, New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman chose to accept the qualifying offer this past offseason. It didn’t come as a huge shock. Stroman sat out all of 2020 and still able to secure himself an $18.9 million payday for the 2021 season.
This year’s salary alone will account for almost 40% of what he has made as a professional player. He can pay his bills and pick up the tab for his friends without any issue.
Next winter will be the one where Stroman will look to get paid. He has certainly done himself some favors with his early 2021 performance. Well on his way to becoming one of the best free agent starting pitchers available during the offseason, the only concern Mets fans should have is whether or not he prices himself out of a new deal with New York.
The Mets showed they have a price they are unwilling to cross
I don’t expect the front office to change its stance on money next winter. As we saw with numerous free agents, they had a price they were willing to go to. They didn’t cross the line just to feel like they made a move.
Stroman’s value on the open market is far from set. We’ll need to see how this season unfolds before anyone can guess as to how much money he might have coming his way.
What could make it more unlikely that Stroman stays is the fact that the Mets also have Noah Syndergaard to think about. Syndergaard is a “Sandy Alderson guy” while Stroman is a leftover from Brodie Van Wagenen. Another trend with this current regime, they have been quick to move on from players BVW added.
Why we might expect the Mets to let Marcus Stroman walk away without much of a fight to keep him
How much money can we realistically expect the Mets to invest in their starting rotation? Next year’s team will have Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker on it—all three have major league contracts. The other two spots are up for debate.
David Peterson would be an easy guess to make the team, but even he has yet to establish himself as a mainstay in the rotation. Another candidate, Joey Lucchesi, has a lot to prove.
The Mets do have a good chunk of change coming off the books. Jeurys Familia is a free agent and short of a horrific clerical error, he will not return. Dellin Betances will also likely leave, helping to free up even more dollars to invest in one of the free agents.
This won’t help the Mets to pay Stroman, Syndergaard, and Michael Conforto. All three are challengers for $20 million per year deals.
The Mets can go above and beyond the expectations of everyone and afford all three. Just because they can doesn’t mean they will.
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Even at the cost of Stroman leaving the Mets because he has been so great that better offers are coming in from other teams, I do think fans have their heads in the right place. They want him to perform at an elite level. The 2021 season wasn’t one built for growth. This is an all-in-to-win campaign without much thought about who may or may not be back.