The Blue Jays did well with their return for Marcus Stroman, and now that the 2020 season has been compromised or maybe even wiped out, it looks even better.
Back when the Blue Jays traded Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets, I’ll admit that I wasn’t very happy. It’s not that I was shocked the Blue Jays had just traded their best starting pitcher, I was mostly surprised that I knew next to nothing about the pitchers from back to Toronto.
After some time to calm down, read some scouting reports, and watch some video, I realized that the Blue Jays had done pretty well for themselves. Simeon Woods Richardson has now jumped into most Top 100 prospects lists, Anthony Kay looks like a viable MLB starter as well, and let’s face it, the relationship between Stroman and the Blue Jays was pretty fractured by the time the deal went down. It’s possible the Blue Jays could have gotten an even bigger return had they waited another day or two to pull the trigger, but right now things are looking pretty good on their end.
As for the Mets? Oh boy, it’s really looking like this trade is going to come back to bite them.
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Maybe that’s just the baseball gods helping the Blue Jays get even for the infamous R.A. Dickey trade in 2012 that gave the Mets a pre-debut Noah Syndergaard, as well as a prime catching prospect in Travis d’Arnaud. Dickey was solid during his tenure in Toronto, but it’s long been a sore spot for Blue Jays fans watching “Thor” dominate in the National League. However, it looks like last season’s trade could provide some payback.
That could happen anyway if Woods Richardson and/or Kay blossom into legitimate big league starters, but right now it looks like the Mets are really getting the raw end of the deal thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic that’s put a pause on big league baseball. The Mets made the trade with the understanding that they’d be getting a season and a half of Stroman’s services before he became eligible to become a free agent. They did get 11 starts from the Duke University product last year, but so far the final season of his current contract has gone to waste. That’s not going to change either, as the league and the player’s association have already agreed to honour service time and the contracts for this year, regardless of the length of the calendar.
It’s entirely possible that Stroman stays in New York, as he was born in Medford, NY and talked about his excitement to go home to play after the trade. However, if the Mets want to keep him beyond 2020, they’re going to have to pay him more than the 12 million he was slated to make this season, and they’ll likely have to commit to a lengthy term as well. Stroman just turned 29 earlier this month, and with youth and incredible fitness on his side, there’s no reason to think he’ll get less than a five year deal, and it could be longer.
When the Mets agreed to the trade with the Blue Jays, they thought they were getting some help toward an unlikely post-season appearance in 2019, and especially had hoped Stroman would boost their chances in 2020. They came up a little short last season, and with the 2020 campaign in danger of being wiped out this year, it’s possible the Mets will have received very little in return for two solid pitching prospects. That’s gotta sting a little.
Like I said, for Blue Jays fans who have been cursing the deal that sent Syndergaard to New York back in 2012, perhaps this will be a bit of redemption. With the benefit of hindsight, and a willingness to admit I was wrong at the time, I’m sure glad that the Blue Jays made this deal last July.