The New York Mets made an intriguing move on Sunday by trading for starting pitcher and Toronto Blue Jays ace of staff Marcus Stroman. The deal will ship prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson to the Blue Jays while Stroman packs his bags for New York. The Blue Jays will additionally receive cash considerations
Stroman is in the midst of a career year in 2019, after posting a solid 2.96 ERA through 124 2/3 innings on the mound this season. Stroman is owed the excess of his $7.4 million salary and will be eligible for a fourth and terminal year of arbitration going into the 2020 season. Through six seasons with the Blue Jays, Stroman is 47-45 with a 3.76 ERA, to accompany his 4.40 ERA in five postseason starts.
According to MLB Pipeline, the lefthanded Kay ranked fourth in New York’s farm system while the right-handed Woods-Richardson placed sixth.
Kay began the year with Double-A Binghamton but received a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse in mid-June, where he has grappled. In 31 1/3 innings with Syracuse, Kay has a mediocre 6.61 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks.
With Single-A Columbia this season, Woods-Richardson has posted a satisfactory 4.25 ERA during 78 1/3 innings over 20 starts.
“NEW YORK! Where I was born. Where my heart lies. Where my family resides,” Stroman, a Long Island native, wrote on Twitter. “Crazy excited for this part of my journey. Some things were meant to be!”
While Stroman believes that he is a great fit, it is hard not to be skeptical. The Mets are 11.5 games out of first place in the National League East division and are six games out of a second Wild Card spot. The Mets were also expected to be sellers at the deadline with the departure of Noah Syndergaard nearly being a foregone conclusion for some time now.
The addition of Stroman brings up some important questions for the Mets. Do they see themselves as contenders this year? Are they simply preparing for next season with this move? Is this move to replace Syndergaard? Is Syndergaard even getting traded? Are the Mets going to flip Stroman and trade Syndergaard?
These are all valid and interesting questions, but they are impossible to answer at the moment. The Mets’ actions from now until the trade deadline will reveal a lot about what the team has planned after a very disappointing season following a seemingly outstanding offseason.
“My body feels great, arm feels great,” he said earlier this month. “It’s kind of a nod to the offseason program I had. My second half, I feel, is going to be really strong. I feel like I’ve always been a second-half pitcher. I’m just looking to carry each start into the next one.”
At a 56 percent clip, Stroman induces the highest percentage of ground balls of any American League pitcher as a result of his dynamic, five-pitch arsenal. This may not fair well with the Mets due to the fact that the Mets have one of the worst defensive infields in baseball.
“Marcus is a dynamic talent who will bring tremendous passion to our team and energy our fans will truly appreciate,” Van Wagenen said in a statement. “As a Long Island native, we believe that Marcus will thrive playing in New York.”
The deal was also a head-scratcher on the Blue Jays part as for their ace, they did not receive any prospects ranked in the top 100 in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. For the talent that was given, the return does not seem to be as promising as it could have been.
With the trade deadline looming, the moves made by these two teams in the coming days are crucial to their future success. After this oddity of a deal, many questions are yet to be answered. Will these questions be answered? Only time will tell as all teams across the league prepare for the final wave of trades for this season.