Stroman: I 'would love' to return to Mets but they prefer other pitchers

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Marcus Stroman is open to returning to the New York Mets, but that's apparently a one-way street.

The free-agent starter replied to a fan on Twitter who asked him Friday to return to the Mets, stating that he'd "love to be back on the squad next year" and that he's proven he can pitch in the high-pressure market of Flushing. However, Stroman said "a source" told him the Mets' front office prefers other free-agent starters, later clarifying that he's his own source.

The former All-Star and Gold Glove winner was slated to hit the open market for the first time in his career last year. However, he accepted New York's one-year, $18.9-million qualifying offer.

Now, unencumbered by a qualifying offer or draft-pick compensation, the 30-year-old Stroman is a member of a class of free-agent starters that includes Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, and AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray.

While modern front offices are trending more toward strikeout pitchers, Stroman relies heavily on inducing weak contact. Since the beginning of 2014, when Stroman first broke into the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays, only Dallas Keuchel has posted a higher groundball rate among starters with at least 1,000 innings pitched, according to FanGraphs.

Despite relying on groundballs, only Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Walker Buehler, Shane Bieber, and Brandon Woodruff have thrown more innings and posted a lower ERA than Stroman - who missed all of 2020 - over the past three seasons.

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Stroman: I 'would love' to return to Mets but they prefer other pitchers
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