On the day after Steve Cohen was formally introduced as the new owner of the Mets, the team got more good news as they filled one of the vacant spots in their depleted starting rotation. Marcus Stroman tweeted earlier today that he has accepted the team’s Qualifying Offer and will be returning to the Mets for the 2021 season. Stroman had until 5:00pm today to accept the offer. The move will earn him an $18.9 million salary for the season, making him the third-highest salaried player on the club at the moment.
The Mets acquired Stroman in a trade with the Blue Jays. three days ahead of the 2019 trade deadline. In return, they sent prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson to Toronto. The right-hander made 11 starts with the Mets that season and posted a 3.77 ERA, a 4.15 FIP, a 1.48 WHIP, and a 1.4 bWAR in 59.2 innings. Stroman, who earned his first career All Star game nod in 2019, has a career 3.76 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, and 14.7 bWAR in six seasons. He suffered a calf tear during summer camp in July and eventually opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The move is a big boost to the team’s starting rotation, which was hindered by injuries and underperformance in 2020. Aside from Jacob deGrom, who was once again a finalist for the NL Cy Young award, rookie David Peterson is the only other starter who likely had a spot in next year’s staff prior to Stroman re-joining. With Noah Syndergaard expected to be sidelined until mid-season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery, the team will need to find at least one more, and probably two more established starting pitchers this winter. Seth Lugo, who moved into the rotation at the tail end of last season, is another potential answer and might stick around as a starting pitcher next year.