New York Mets: Marcus Stroman ‘leaning towards rejecting’ the qualifying offer

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman
Mar 4, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the third inning at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The success of the New York Mets‘ offseason will be dictated by how much they can improve their pitching, particularly the rotation. After Jacob deGrom (who is a Cy Young award finalist for the third year in a row) David Peterson and perhaps Steven Matz, the team doesn’t have too many options to plug in.

The New York Mets will probably have to go to the free agent market (and perhaps the trading block, too) in their quest for pitching reinforcements. They have to replace Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello in the back of the rotation, as both of them are free agents.

Noah Syndergaard won’t be back before the All-Star break. As you can see, the Mets need to act and they need to do it quick. Trevor Bauer is a free agent, as are Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, for example. But there is one candidate to fill one of the spots that has experience in a Mets’ uniform.

Marcus Stroman, who played the final weeks of the 2019 season with the Mets, was in the roster for the 2020 shortened campaign but decided not to risk a COVID-19 infection and opted out of the season.

He is now a free agent, but the Mets extended him a qualifying offer. The sheet is for a one-year, $18.9 million deal, as per MLB’s rules. Stroman has until Wednesday to accept it or decline it.

Will the Mets have Stroman next season?

If Stroman takes the qualifying offer, he will play the 2021 season with the Mets and re-enter the free agency next year. If he declines it, he will test the market now and the Mets will receive a draft pick from the team that secures his services.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Stroman is leaning toward rejecting that offer and seeking a multiyear deal on the open market. Puma cited an industry source.

Stroman has a good chance of landing a multiyear pact given that there aren’t too many top-tier free agent pitchers out there. However, there is always the chance that he takes the offering and re-establishes his value after not pitching in 2020.

Stroman had a 3.77 ERA and 1.475 WHIP in 11 starts for the Mets in 2019, the last time he pitched.