FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2020, file photo, New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Stroman and San Francisco starter Kevin Gausman accepted qualifying offers Wednesday, Nov. 11, receiving one-year deals to stay with their teams rather than test what they could get in free agency. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman accepted the New York Mets' $18.9 million qualifying offer Wednesday to stay with the team for 2021.

The 29-year-old right-hander did not play this year, missing the start of the shortened season in late July due to a torn left calf muscle, then announcing Aug. 10 he had opted out because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A native of Long Island who grew up about 50 miles from Citi Field, Stroman announced his decision the day after new Mets owner Steve Cohen held an introductory news conference. Cohen bought the team last week from the Wilpon and Katz families for a baseball-record $2.42 billion.

“After watching the presser, I’m beyond excited to play for you sir,” Stroman posted on Twitter. “I could feel the excitement and passion you’re going to bring daily. Let’s go be great!”

“Marcus, That is great news,” Cohen replied on Twitter. “Looking forward to meeting you soon. I will call you over the next few days to thank you.”

Stroman rejoins a projected rotation that includes two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and left-hander David Peterson, with Seth Lugo and Steven Matz also options. Lugo could return to the bullpen if the Mets find other starters this offseason, and the injury-prone Matz might be a non-tender candidate after going 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA.

Noah Syndergaard is expected to miss at least the first part of next season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Stroman was acquired by the Mets from Toronto on July 28, 2019, for left-hander Anthony Kay and minor league right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson. He went 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts for New York, leaving his career record at 51-47 with 3.76 ERA.

By opting out, Stroman gave up a little more than $3,250,414 of $4,444,444 in prorated pay from his $12 million salary.


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