New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The 29-year old has been working his way back from a pre-season calf injury and was yet to throw a pitch in 2020. According to Jeff Passan, Stroman has collected enough MLB service time to reach free agency this winter. This means Stroman’s career as a New York Met has likely come to a close.
Mets starter Marcus Stroman has opted out of the 2020 season. He has accrued enough service time to reach free agency this winter. He'll do so not having thrown a big league pitch this year.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 10, 2020
Why He’s Opting Out
Stroman says his decision to opt out is primarily due to the fact that he has at-risk family members, who he has been talking to about the situation. He also voiced concerns in heading to Miami this week, a hotspot for COVID-19. The Miami Marlins had an outbreak on their team earlier in the season, leading to discussions of the season’s cancellation. In recent weeks, the Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies have all had positive tests among staff or players.
Even with MLB stepping up its safety measures, players have still voiced concern over the completion of the season. It was reported that the cause of the Marlins and Cardinals outbreaks were players spending time at casinos and clubs.
The right-handed starter’s opting out comes only eight days after Yoenis Cespedes abruptly left the team due to COVID-19 concerns. The Mets will have some heavy shoes to fill with Cespedes and Stroman out of the equation, especially due to a lack of pitching depth. This means that young pitchers such as David Peterson, Kevin Smith and Thomas Szapucki will likely make up for the loss of Stroman, eating into their service time.
Stoman, an All-Star in 2019, has only pitched 11 games and 59.2 innings since he was traded to the Mets from the Toronto Blue Jays last season. The Blue Jays received Simeon Woods-Richardson and Anthony Kay in return.
Over his seven-year big league career, Stroman has posted a 3.76 ERA and 51-47 record. During the Blue Jays 2015 playoff run, he led the pitching staff in strikeouts and innings pitched.
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