Let’s Talk Stroman

It’s official.

Well, I didn’t see that coming.

The Mets have acquired Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitching prospects, Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson. They also received a perennial favorite, Cash Considerations. (2.5 million dollars)

Stroman, 28, posted a career-best 2.96 ERA (1.48 ERA+) and a 3.52 FIP in 21 starts for the Blue Jays. Stroman is under team control through the 2020 season.

Marcus Stroman is a ground ball machine. Only three pitchers in the league generate more ground balls. It should be noted that the Mets have the worst infield defense in the league. Again.

I’m ok with what the Mets gave up here.

Anthony Kay, 24 was a former first round pick. After being drafted in 2016, Tommy John surgery delayed his debut until 2018. He moved up quickly after returning to game action, reaching Triple A this season. That promotion has not been kind to Kay, as he’s pitched to a 6.61 ERA over six starts. He profiles as a middle of the rotation option.

Simeon Woods-Richardson stings a little bit. Drafted in the second round last year, the Mets were being very aggressive with the 18 year old, promoting him to High A ball last week. To put it in perspective, Woods-Richardson is the sixth ranked prospect in the Met system. Kay is ranked fourth. The upside with Woods-Richardson is through the roof. He was very impressive at Low A Columbia, allowing only 2 walks per 9 innings while striking out 11.1 per 9. The Mets have now traded their first two players selected in the 2018 draft. (Jarred Kelenic was included in the Edwin Diaz and Robinson Canó deal.)

Hey, the Mets landed Marcus Stroman who has a sub 3 ERA in the AL East, giving up less than a homerun per game in the year of the juiced ball. All you hear about The Mets farm system is that it’s one of the worst in baseball, and all they gave up was their fourth and sixth ranked prospect.

There was rumors that the Mets would deal Syndergaard and then try and replace him with a starting pitcher, (Stroman was actually mentioned as the possible replacement) but who knows what to believe this time of year.

It’s kinda funny actually. The deal just came out of nowhere. “Mets Acquire Marcus Stroman.” All of those click bait trade rumor articles for nothing. 🤷‍♂️

Now, all eyes are on Brodie Van Wagenen. What’s next? Or maybe we should say, “who’s next?”

Ok. First, I’d like to pretend that no one is next.

1) DeGrom
2) Syndergaard
3) Wheeler
4) Stroman
5) Matz

That’s a fantastic rotation. That may be the best rotation in all of baseball. It looks very unlikely that the Mets acquired Stroman just to flip him to another team. So on the surface, that would mean they have designs on competing next year.

Furthermore, if that rotation does stay intact, that would mean the Mets believe they can compete this season. Hey, the teams standing between them and the wildcard aren’t very good. With that being said, Jeff McNeil was removed from the game after being hit by a pitch yesterday and was replaced by Aaron Altherr.

So, it will be interesting what moves are next. Do they view themselves as contenders in 2019? Are they gearing up for a serious run in 2020?

Let’s get into it.

Don’t look now, but it’s a few days before the trade deadline and the Mets control virtually all the starting pitching.

As stated above, it doesn’t look likely that the Mets will deal Stroman.

The majority of the rumors right now are swirling around Noah Syndergaard. It seems like the Mets are asking for a haul for the right hander (rightfully so.) Said haul is said to include major league ready talent. Personally, I don’t think it makes ANY sense to deal Syndergaard now. Why trade off farm assets and then deal Noah?

I’ll actually take it a step further. You HAVE to keep Syndergaard now.

A Syndergaard trade would spell a complete rebuild to me. The Mets have stated time and time again they are unwilling to commit to a full rebuild. Should they rebuild? Maybe. But that conversation is moot now. You started walking on ice with the Stroman deal, now you’re dancing.

The Mets have 151 million dollars already invested in 2020 contracts. If you’re not planning on rebuilding, Syndergaard at 8 million dollars makes all the sense in the world.

What about Zack Wheeler? The Mets could go forward with that dream rotation we mentioned above. Wheeler could also be moved. I don’t think his value took too much of a hit after his trip to the Injured List this month. Teams know what he is. Factor in the complete lack of starting pitching available, and Wheeler is very attractive.

This is the big decision for me. Do you go all in or capitalize on your sudden monopoly of starting pitching? If they keep Wheeler until the end of the season, at the very least you’d think they would offer him a qualifying offer. If he happens to accept said offer, the Mets payroll would be around 170 million dollars.

Wheeler might bring back a good piece or two. Combining him with Dominic Smith would improve the return. Jason Vargas has proven to be a very competent pitcher this season after a rough 2018, so losing Wheeler wouldn’t kill you.

I’ll say this. After this surprising deal yesterday, the Mets hold the cards. They control almost all of the high-end starting pitching available as the trade deadline approaches. They have all the leverage now.

The Mets sure made a splash yesterday. What’s next after their cannonball in the kiddie pool?

I’ll reiterate my take on this deal. The Mets acquired a good pitcher yesterday and didn’t give up a ton. This very fair deal becomes asinine, however, if the Mets don’t fully commit to winning.

Let’s see what else Brodie has up his sleeve.