The Mets announced Monday that right-hander Marcus Stroman has opted out of the remainder of the 2020 season. The right-hander, who is a free agent at season’s end, called the move a family decision and cited the many “uncertainties” and “unknowns” of playing in the current health-and-safety atmosphere.
This obviously represents a major blow to the Mets’ hopes in 2020. While Stroman will forgo the remainder of his $12MM salary, it isn’t as if there’s an obvious way for the team to reinvest it for a player of similar quality — at least, not without giving up substantial prospect value via trade.
The decision puts a bow on the Mets’ end of last summer’s trade that brought Stroman to Queens. Adding him cost two promising young starters: Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson. The club remained competitive late in 2019 but was already in too deep a hole to make a postseason run. And now Stroman won’t throw a pitch in the 2020 campaign.
It all sets up several intriguing contract situations in the future. Stroman, who had been on the injured list, did not opt out until after he had reached six full years of MLB service. That means he’ll still qualify for free agency. Whether the Mets will extend Stroman a qualifying offer, as once seemed sure, remains to be seen. And it’ll be interesting to see how the open market treats the high-quality 29-year-old.
Stroman is now listed among the players around the game that have opted out of the 2020 season.