It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what direction the New York Mets want to go in regards to the 2019 season and the future. Sunday just complicated that direction even more with the acquisition of Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.
Stroman’s name was linked to New York for a while but it was believed to be with the New York Yankees to help out with their abysmal starting pitching. But instead, the 5-foot-7 right-hander from Medford New York was dealt to the Amazin’s for Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson.
Stroman is a guy who brings an intense amount of energy to the Mets starting rotation that I love. When you talk about the whole “Let the kids play” movement that has gone on in 2019, Stroman embodies that from the pitcher's side.
My biggest concern, that has been brought up by so many people, is the fact that Stroman is not a strikeout pitcher. He gets his outs on balls that are put in play and for a team like the Mets who are very bad defensively, it may cause some issues.
Seeing Anthony Kay’s name be involved with this trade has shored up my ideology that Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen wants to get rid of all prospects that he did not pick and groom himself. This became apparent when he traded Jarred Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Now with this trade of Woods-Richardson and Kay confirms the direction that Brodie wants to go in.
I think the Mets got really good value for two guys who haven’t really proved much in the minors. Kay, at 24-years-old, wouldn’t be making the show this season and was only projected at a 4th or 5th starter at best. Woods-Richardson ceiling is a little higher as he is just out of high school but has been pretty average in single-A, sporting a 4.25 ERA and a WHIP at 1.21.
By the Numbers
Marcus Stroman has had a world-class 2019 with a 2.96 ERA putting him atop the Top 15 in the MLB. His strikeouts per nine innings hover just over 7. The strikeout to walk ratio comes in at just under 3:1 and with the lack of strikeouts, means he’s also not walking many hitters.
Stroman was an All-Star in 2019, while he sat out due to injury, this means the Mets now have two All-Star starting pitchers in their rotation, and depending on what’s done with Noah Syndergaard, have the potential to have three next season.
While the move is a little puzzling at first, the Mets are still very much in playoff contention. They have been hot as of late, and if they take advantage of playing some weaker competition in the next two weeks, they could very well be in striking distance for the second Wild Card spot.
Stroman gives the Mets some much-needed attitude on the bump and is a guy who is well-liked by teammates. He’s going to rub opponents the wrong way and could light a spark under the Mets for the remaining two months of the year. All in all I like the move the Mets have made here. They're showing that there is still fight in this team and from a front office perspective, Brodie is very adamant about doing things his way, with his players, and if that means trading players that he was not a part in bringing in than so be it.
What’s to be done with Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler, Jason Vargas, Edwin Diaz, and Todd Frazier is still to be seen, and while this trade may not carry the same weight as the Cespedes trade in 2015, it could be a catalyst to springboard this team back into playoff contention.