Another free agent is off the board, and it’s another starting pitcher sticking with his current team on a one-year deal.
This time, it’s Marcus Stroman accepting the New York Mets’ $18.9 million qualifying offer:
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) November 11, 2020
Stroman missed the 2020 season, but no one doubts he’ll be good to go next year. I’m sure the Mets are quite happy he decided to take the deal, especially given the new owner who might be perfectly happy to spend aggressively this offseason. You can bet they will be adding from here.
With Stroman taking his QO, I tend to think we’ll see the same today from Kevin Gausman and the Giants. He’s right there in that same valuation/risk range as Stroman.
Keep in mind, it isn’t just about being able to secure a better deal in free agency – debatable in this market – it’s about being able to secure a better deal in free agency DESPITE being attached to draft pick compensation. We’ve seen what that can do to a guy right on the border of accepting/declining, and so when you throw in the pandemic revenue/spending uncertainty, it really shouldn’t be that shocking that Stroman took the deal.
Stroman will turn 30 in May, and then can hit free agency after next season – showing he’s healthy and effective after missing 2020 due to the calf injury and the opt-out – without a qualifying offer attached. Players can receive only one in their career.
It’s also possible that the market will look much better next offseason, depending on the state of the pandemic, the state of revenues, and the state of CBA negotiations.