It is always fascinating to look back at moves a team made and see how well things worked out. In the Summer of 2019, the New York Mets made a shocking move, one that changed the dynamic of clubhouse and excitement around the fanbase.
Neither the Mets nor Blue Jays really won the Marcus Stroman trade
On July 28th, 2019, the Mets found themselves five games under .500 and six games back of the second Wild Card spot in the National League. General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen could have packed things up and joined the group of sellers at the trade deadline, the same way New York had handled business in each of the previous two seasons. Instead, Van Wagenen went out and made another splash, acquiring right handed starting pitcher, Marcus Stroman, in exchange for two pitching prospects.
Stroman, who grew up a fan of the Amazins, would come to Queens and help spark what turned out to be a very fun final two months of the 2019 season. The Mets at one point in August, pulled to within half a game of the Washington Nationals of that second Wild Card spot, but unfortunately failed to get over the hump. Although New York missed the playoffs, they registered their first winning season since 2016, as they finished the year 86-76.
In 11 starts, the New York native went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA, striking out 60 hitters in 59.2 innings pitched. Behind Jacob deGrom, it seemed promising that the Mets would have a strong one-two punch of deGrom and Stroman in 2020. Until something bigger than baseball stopped that from happening.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating a lot of uncertainty in people's lives, Marcus Stroman decided to opt out of the 60 game season in 2020. The Mets would still offer a qualifying offer that Stroman would accept.
In 2021, Stroman would pitch well for the Mets as he finished with a 3.02 ERA in what would be his final year wearing the blue and orange. New York would move on from Marcus when they signed future Hall of Famer, Max Scherzer. Stroman has since found a new home in Chicago, pitching for the Cubs.
The two players the Toronto Blue Jays got in return for Stroman were Anthony Kay, a former first round draft pick by the Mets in 2016, and Simeon Woods Richardson. Kay has had his fair share of troubles so far as the 27 year old left hander, has a career ERA of 5.48 and spent most of his 2022 season in the minor leagues.
As for Simeon Woods Richardson, he is now a member of the Minnesota Twins organization after being a part of the Jose Berrios trade. Berrios in 2022 pitched to a 5.23 ERA so that deal has not worked out too well for Toronto either.
It is safe to say that neither the Mets or Blue Jays truly "won" the Marcus Stroman trade but from the Mets perspective, it was not, by any means, a bad trade, as they had themselves a really solid number two pitcher in their rotation for a season and half.