The news yesterday that Marcus Stroman accepted the team’s qualifying offer gives the team more flexibility in how they build on their pitching staff as Jacob deGrom, Stroman, and David Peterson are locks for the rotation while Seth Lugo could either stay in the rotation or head back to the bullpen depending on how the Mets add pitchers this off-season.
Stroman provides the Mets with a solid third starter and you have to factor in Noah Syndergaard who could end up being a great mid-season addition depending on his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
I still think the Mets will add another starter and if that hurler is Trevor Bauer this rotation could be the best in the sport. It could also send Lugo back to the pen where he has excelled giving the Mets a late inning combo of Lugo, Diaz, Betances and Familia making their bullpen plans more about adding a southpaw like a Brad Hand for instance,
A backup option to Bauer could be someone like Charlie Morton who excelled in his career in big games. Choosing a pitcher like Morton could also mean the Mets might spend more on a Center Fielder or catcher knowing that an improved defense will be so important with this star studded rotation.
Keeping Marcus Stroman on the field was a huge first step for the Mets and simply do not underestimate the presence of Steve Cohen in that decision making process for him. I got to know the Met pitcher well in 2019 and his love for the history of this team was obvious from the start. He routinely wore old Met Classic uniforms to the park like a Strawberry #18 for instance and loved talking about those 80’s Mets.
And playing for an owner that shares that same passion had to have been in Stroman’s mind returning him to the Mets. And watch for that concept with the free agent marketplace as the Met organization has become a landing spot most free agents will at the very least consider much more seriously than they did in the past few years.