Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman is slated to become one of baseball’s most prominent free agents in a few months, though no one knows how the game’s economic landscape will look then in the wake of a 60-game season. Stroman discussed his upcoming trip to the open market over the weekend with Tim Healey of Newsday and other reporters. While Stroman is unsure of what the future holds, the 29-year-old is confident he’ll be one of the best pitchers available if he does get to the market.
“It will truly play out as it will play out,” Stroman said. “I should be one of the top arms. I believe I’m one of the youngest. I’m extremely healthy. I’m coming off a great year. So however it plays out I think it will play out.”
It’s hard to argue with any of that. Unlike last offseason’s free agency period that Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg headlined, next winter’s won’t feature any surefire aces. But the likes of Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Robbie Ray look young enough and effective enough to cash in on multiyear contracts.
Stroman, who debuted in 2014 and has spent almost all of his career with the Blue Jays, has typically kept runs off the board at a nice clip. If there’s one clear negative, it’s that Stroman has never been any kind of strikeout artist. However, he has offset that by inducing a boatload of groundballs and limiting walks to a respectable degree.
Last year between Toronto and New York, Stroman combined for 184 1/3 innings – his most since a 201-frame effort in 2017 – and logged a 3.22 ERA/3.72 FIP with 7.76 K/9, 2.83 BB/9 and a 53.7 GB rate. For the most part, those numbers don’t stray too far from Stroman’s career figures. Stroman, though, is convinced he has even more in the tank, saying, “I truly believe my best years are ahead of myself.”
We’ll see if that proves to be the case during a shortened 2020, and whether Stroman does enough to convince the Mets to make a serious run at bringing him back. Owing in part to Stroman’s pending free agency, the Mets’ rotation will head into next winter facing quite a bit of uncertainty behind all-world ace Jacob deGrom. They’ll have a decision to make on Tommy John patient Noah Syndergaard’s roughly $9.7MM arbitration salary (odds are they’ll tender him, but the coronavirus has perhaps made that less of a sure bet), while Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha are due to join Stroman in free agency.