In recent weeks, Marcus Stroman seemed resigned to being traded from the only MLB team he’s ever known, but apparently he wasn’t so pleased with where he landed.
Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun is reporting that the right-hander caused a ‘commotion’ inside the Blue Jays clubhouse when he learned he was being traded to the New York Mets and his reaction ‘wasn’t pretty’.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Stroman attempted to defuse that talk by characterizing the commotion in clubhouse as a discussion he had with “coaches and higher ups in the org” about how things were handled. He elaborated saying there were “no hard feelings” and just opinions being voiced. That characterization probably deserves some scrutiny, as it’s in Stroman’s best interest to downplay any conflict, but it’s also possible that what one side felt was as a contentious interaction the other saw as simply a discussion.
Going to the Mets clearly wasn’t the best-case scenario for Stroman - which his father Earl elaborated on, telling Steven Marcus of Newsday that his son “was hoping it was the Yankees a little bit.”
The right-hander likely assumed he was on the way to a World Series contender and a chance at playoff glory. Instead, he’s going to a team with a 50-55 record, 11.5 games out of a division lead - a highly atypical scenario for one of the best veteran starters on the market.
For the Mets to make this whole situation work they either need to make a deep playoff run in 2020 — which is on the unlikely side — or extend the 28-year-old. If the veteran starter isn’t pleased to be there, that could be difficult.
Stroman may feel like the Blue Jays didn’t do right by him in moving him to a team out of contention this season. The fact the Mets are also considered one of the more dysfunctional organizations in the game probably doesn’t help.
Unfortunately for the longtime Blue Jays starter, he didn’t have any leverage in the situation. Toronto’s sole priority was extracting the largest return possible, and because Stroman had strong trade value, the offers they were receiving weren’t nominal and interchangeable. This front office firmly believed the Mets presented the best package and weren’t going to take less from someone else on account of Stroman’s preferences.
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