Marcus Stroman Opts Out of 2020 with Enough Service Time to Become a Free Agent This Winter

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Marcus Stroman Opts Out of 2020 with Enough Service Time to Become a Free Agent This Winter

Chicago Cubs

Marcus Stroman is among the highest profile starting pitchers on the free agent market this offseason, but he’ll enter that market without throwing a single pitch in 2020.

Multiple reports have just confirmed that he’s opting out of the season citing COVID-19 concerns among his family:

Stroman, 29, was working his way back from a strained calf, which is now 100% healthy according to Stroman, himself. Indeed, this decision had apparently nothing to do with that injury at all – he called it a “collective family decision,” due to the large number of uncertainties and unknowns. Given the direction of the outbreaks in Miami and St. Louis, it’s tough to blame him (of course, we support any and all players decision to opt-out, regardless of the reason).

Of course, there is another important consideration here.

Ignore the first-half of this tweet about the trade, and consider the implication of the second half:

By staying on the Injured List until now, Stroman was able to ensure that he’d reach free agency this winter, even without throwing a pitch. If, by contrast, he had opted out before the year began (throwing the exact same number of pitches as he has this season … 0), he would have not accrued any service time and thus would’ve been under Mets control for another year (presuming he wasn’t one of the “high risk” players, for whom I believe there are special clauses for this exact situation).

I’m not saying that’s particularly nefarious, but it certainly works to the significant disadvantage of the Mets, who will finish this season without Stroman or Noah Syndergaard (TJS).

The Mets are currently 7-9, in third place of the NL East. The Cubs will not play them this year, unless both teams meet in the postseason.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami