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Marcus Stroman accepts Mets’ qualifying offer

Even after a controversial exit from the Mets in 2020, Stroman returns to Queens for 2021.

MLB: New York Mets-Workouts Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Marcus Stroman has accepted the Mets’ one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer and will remain in Queens in 2021, he announced Wednesday morning. Metsmerizedonline.com was first to break news of the decision:

While he is a native New Yorker, it was a bit surprising to see either side pursue a reunion after Stroman waited the exact amount of service time days he’s need to to guarantee his free-agent status this offseason (all spent on the injured list), then opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. While no player deserves criticism for taking any precautions necessary to avoid contracting COVID, Stroman did make a shrewd business move — one that may have caused more tension between him and the organization if the club’s leadership hadn’t totally turned over since he opted out.

Fortunately for Stroman, the Mets have new ownership and are in the process of putting together a new front office, and he appears to be invigorated by the direction the franchise is heading, as evidenced by his tweet Wednesday to new majority owner Steve Cohen:

Stroman missed the entire 2020 season, but he was fantastic in 2019, becoming an All-Star for the first time with the Blue Jays before being dealt to the Mets prior to the deadline. Over 32 starts beween Toronto and New York, he posted a 3.22 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP, 159 strikeouts, and 58 walks over 184.1 innings. For his career, he has a 3.76 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 849.1 frames.

Stroman is the only player so far to accept the qualifying offer, with the Giants’ Kevin Gausman the only other one who has a realistic chance of doing so before Wednesday’s deadline.