Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman is opting out of the 2020 MLB season.
“With all of the unknowns and uncertainty due to the pandemic, this is the best decision for me and my family,” Stroman said Monday in a post on social media.
This season, several games and series have been postponed after multiple teams experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. The Cardinals and Marlins remain the league's hot spots, with more than 40 positive tests between the two clubhouses.
While teams focus their efforts to contain the virus, Stroman said he would rather not risk the health of his family and close friends.
“You see [COVID-19] spikes everywhere in the country. You see protocols not being handled properly from citizens everywhere,” Stroman said. “Going to see the Marlins soon, that’s something I don't want to be in that situation.”
Across MLB, 21 players and five coaches have opted out for COVID-related reasons, and Stroman is the second Mets player—after Yoenis Cespedes—to opt out of MLB's restart so far.
“It ended up being a collective family decision for me, something that has been weighing on me daily,” Stroman said, according to the New York Post. “I ended up sitting with my family and assessing the possibilities and realizing there’s just too many uncertainties, too many unknowns right now to go out there. It’s really putting the health for my family and myself first and foremost.”
Stroman hadn’t been able to take the field previously due to a calf tear. He recently pitched in a simulated game, throwing 85 pitches without any reported setbacks. He insisted the injury had no impact on his decision.
The 29-year-old was acquired last July in a trade with the Blue Jays. He started in 32 games during 2019, posting a 3.22 ERA. He also earned his first All-Star selection.
Stroman, who is 51–47 over his career, will enter free agency in the coming offseason.
The Mets are 7-9 through 16 games this season.