Despite being on the fringe of a playoff hunt, at best, the New York Mets made the biggest splash of the trade deadline so far on Sunday by acquiring Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays, according to multiple reports.
Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are sending prospect pitchers Anthony Kay and Simeone Woods-Richardson to Toronto.
That means that Noah Syndergaard is still a Met for now. The 26-year-old right-hander has been a favorite to be traded from the Mets by the end of the month. He’s been heavily linked with the San Diego Padres, among others over the past few days.
Stroman is in the midst of one of his finest seasons in the majors, garnering his first-ever All-Star Game selection earlier this month. Despite playing for a struggling Blue Jays franchise, the 28-year-old had a 2.96 ERA — ranked fifth in the American League — with a 6-11 record.
With the retention of Syndergaard, at least for now, Stroman suddenly gives the Mets one of the most imposing 1-2-3 punches in all of baseball as he joins a rotation that already is headlined by Jacob deGrom and Thor. Add a possible combination of Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, or Jason Vargas and the organization’s pitching staff will once again become its calling card.
Stroman is under team control for another season, albeit through arbitration. But the Mets’ inclusion of prospects in the deal indicates that the organization is keen on signing the right-hander for the long haul.
However, it is imperative that they do so given the price they paid to get his rights for a little over a season.
Kay and Woods-Richardson are top-10 prospects in the Mets farm system, although they are not ranked within Major League Baseball’s top-100.
In seven starts with Triple-A Syracuse, Kay is 1-3 with a 6.61 ERA while Woods-Richardson has a 4.25 ERA with Single-A Columbia.
The move rings true with the notion that owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are still in a “win-now” mode despite the team being 11.5 games out of first in the National League East.
If the Mets were looking at a rebuild, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen would have included one his big arms in Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler while asking for highly-rated prospects from Toronto.
A hot start to the second half suggests the Mets might not be giving up on this season just yet. While they’ve been an afterthought among many around baseball, a 9-4 stretch in their last 13 games has them just six games out of the final Wild Card spot in the National League. They’ve already leaped over four teams in the standings since Jul. 12, but have six more to catch for a place in the one-game playoff.
The Mets start a three-game series against the 46-57 Chicago White Sox before another meeting with the Pittsburgh Pirates, whom they just completed a sweep of on Sunday afternoon.
Stroman was originally linked to the crosstown-rival Yankees, who are the predominant players for starting pitching help as the trade deadline approaches on Wednesday.