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Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman opted out of pitching in 2020 because of concerns over COVID-19, but that shouldn’t stop the free agent from securing a big payday during the offseason. The Mets have already issued him a qualifying offer worth $18.9MM for next season, though Stroman could turn that down and test the open market. Indeed, he’s “more likely” than not to reject the QO, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.

[RELATED: MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents With Predictions]

This isn’t necessarily a surprise for Stroman, who may be the top starter on the free-agent market after Trevor Bauer. The 29-year-old Stroman has been a quality No. 2/3 type throughout his career, which began in 2014 and has included 849 1/3 innings of 3.76 ERA/3.64 FIP pitching with 7.36 K/9, 2.59 BB/9 and a 58.6 percent groundball rate.

Stroman has posted 200-inning seasons on two occasions, and when he last pitched, he racked up 184 1/3 frames. That type of durability would  be welcome for the Mets or any other team looking for a starter capable of racking up a lot of frames and performing well. Just about every club is looking for a hurler like Stroman for its rotation, meaning he should rake in quite a bit of money in free agency.

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