Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman opts out of 2020 season citing coronavirus concerns

Mike Oz
·2-min read

New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman is the latest MLB player to opt-out of the 2020 season — a decision that could also end his short tenure in Queens.

Stroman announced Monday that he was opting out, that it was a “collective family decision” and that the coronavirus outbreaks in Miami and St. Louis affected his decision.

"There's just too many uncertainties, too many unknowns right now to go out there, and truly just put the health for my family and myself first and foremost."

Here’s more of what he said:

Stroman, 29, had been sidelined by a calf injury but was working has way back for the Mets, who had already lost Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery for 2020. Stroman did say Monday that his calf was feeling better — he had recently thrown a sim-game — and that injury didn’t impact his decision to opt-out.

“Because I'm such a competitor, it was incredibly hard to finally come up with this decision,” Stroman told reporters.

Now Stroman heads into free agency having not pitched a game in more than a year. If he doesn’t re-sign with the Mets, he made 11 starts with a 3.77 ERA after coming out last season in a high-profile trade. His previous team, the Toronto Blue Jays, received pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson.

Stroman’s decision was well-timed. If he had opted out at start of the season, he wouldn’t have accrued enough service time to become a free agent, but now he has. Still, he’ll lose out on $3.3 million in salary for 2020.

Stroman has been a high-upside pitcher through his entire career, but has yet to reach his star potential. He was an All-Star for the first time in 2019 and got Cy Young votes in 2017. He has a career 3.76 ERA with a 51-47 record.

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