New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman became the team’s second high-profile player to abruptly opt out of the season due to coronavirus fears, following veteran slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who did so last week.
‘This is not something that I wanted,’ Stroman told reporters on a video conference call on Monday. ‘This was a collective decision for my family, for our best interests. Because I’m such a competitor, it was incredibly hard to finally come up with this decision.’
Stroman had recently battled a calf injury, but was clear when speaking with reporters that his decision was about keeping his family safe from coronavirus.
New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman became the team’s second high-profile player to abruptly opt out of the season due to coronavirus fears. Stroman, 29, had not yet pitched for the Mets this season, but was considered a significant part of the rotation and would have been counted upon in the postseason, if the Mets reach the playoffs
‘This just ended up being a collective family decision for me – something that’s been weighing on me daily,’ he said. ‘Just ended up sitting with my family and kind of assessing the possibilities and realizing that there’s just too many uncertainties, too many unknowns right now to go out there.’
Mets manager Luis Rojas told reporters he was blindsided when he learned the news about Stroman, who was acquired last season in a major trade with Toronto for pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson.
Stroman, 29, had not yet pitched for the Mets this season, but was considered a significant part of the rotation and would have been counted upon in the postseason, if the Mets reach the playoffs.
This marked the last season on Stroman’s deal, meaning he will become a free agent before the 2021 campaign. He did tell reporters on Monday that he has enjoyed his tenure with the Mets.
‘However it might play out, obviously I would love to be a part of what they have going on,’ he said, adding ‘I can’t say enough good things about my time here.’
The Mets were already without pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who had Tommy John surgery in March.
Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes smiles as he leaves the cage after taking batting practice during a summer baseball training camp workout at Citi Field on July 22. He opted out on August 2
Reporters had said that it is not believed that Cespedes is at any risk
This is the second such surprise for the Mets this month.
On August 2, Cespedes went missing before a game Atlanta. Ultimately the organization claimed Cespedes’s agent reached out to say that he had opted out of the season for ‘COVID-related reasons.’
‘I am very surprised,’ Rojas told reporters. ‘Him and I have had conversations regularly about playing time, where he was going to hit in the lineup, building him up in the outfield.’
‘Nothing like this, so this is definitely a surprise,’ he said.
Major League Baseball has postponed 27 games this year due to coronavirus following outbreaks within the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouses.