Mets’ Marcus Stroman ‘looking forward’ to free agency, longer deal after big year

Marcus Stroman Mets
Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman is put together an excellent season at the perfect time as the New York Mets’ second-half ace faces free agency this winter. 

The 30-year-old Long Island native will lead Major League Baseball by season’s end with 34 starts to go with a career-best 3.02 ERA in seasons which he qualified for pitching awards. His WHIP of 1.145 and his 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings are also career-bests, too — all this during a 2021 season in which he accepted a qualifying offer to remain with the Mets after he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays near the 2019 trade deadline and opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

“I think it’s just a testament to the work I’ve put in in the offseason,” Stroman said. “Just to go out there and make every single start after coming off zero innings pitched, I think that’s a huge testament to the kind of work I put in.

“It’s endless, it’s tiresome, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

This winter, the Mets cannot extend another qualifying offer to Stroman, which means he will hit the open market as one of the most coveted free-agent starting arms around. 

It’s also an opportunity to finally find a contract with a longer term — something Stroman has never experienced in the majors. He has signed a one-year deal every season since 2015; a streak that should end this winter.

“I’m open to anything. At this point in my career, I can’t wait to finally be on a team where I know I’m going to be there for longer than a year,” Stroman said. “It’s extremely gratifying. It took 1,000 innings to get to this point. I’m looking forward to free agency however it may play out.

“I know that it’s manifested and I’m just kind of playing out the story as it should be. There are no worries on my end, and I know that there will be a team or a few teams that want me, so I’m excited for the next few months.”

It’s understandable why retaining Stroman would be amongst the Mets’ top priorities. He’s proven that he can carry a rotation, which would add further top-end power to a group that — when healthy — will boast Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and potentially Noah Syndergaard in 2022.