Marcus Stroman Rumors: Mets SP Could Interest Braves, Angels, White Sox in FA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22:  Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 2020 MLB season hasn't even started, yet teams might be lining up to acquire New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.

CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden said he doesn't expect Stroman to re-sign with the Mets following this year and that the right-hander could be traded midseason.

Assuming Stroman hits free agency after this season, Bowden reported the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox could be early contenders to sign him.

The Mets' decision to acquire Stroman last July was a head-scratcher. They already had a strong starting rotation, and he was only under team control for a year-and-a-half.

Zack Wheeler left after signing a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the franchise's spending habits in recent seasons are leading many to wonder whether Stroman will be out the door next this winter.

In the event the Mets aren't contending or have no intention of holding onto the 29-year-old, the front office might feel it can flip him ahead of the 2020 deadline.

His value will have dipped based on his performance through the second half of 2019, though. He went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA and 4.15 FIP in 11 starts with the Mets, per FanGraphs. He had posted a 3.51 FIP to open the season with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The general absence of any official details about the 2020 campaign also make it difficult to project what kind of trade market materializes across MLB. An 82-game season and expanded playoffs could incentivize teams to pursue short-term moves in pursuit of a postseason berth. Conversely, general managers might be even more hesitant to give up young cost-controlled players at a time when revenue will inevitably decline.

Stroman is likely to be one of the most coveted pitchers in free agency next offseason. 

Whereas the 2020 free-agent class included a pair of aces (Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg), the top-end talent isn't there for 2021. Stroman figures to be among the best arms available alongside Trevor Bauer, Jake Odorizzi, Robbie Ray and Mike Minor.