Marcus Stroman seems cool with it now. The pitcher, acquired by the Mets on Sunday in a shock trade with Toronto, tweeted out an old photo of himself as a small child wearing a Mets jacket, saying “some things were meant to be.” He comes across as genuinely excited to be a Met, and—not for nothing—no longer a Blue Jay. That was not his first reaction.
As the news and confusion of the trade was breaking, the Blue Jays’ clubhouse was closed to press after their home loss. Reporters outside could hear something going on in there—a “commotion,” and that someone was audibly “not happy.” They were told, ominously, that “there’s a reason [the clubhouse] is closed.”
It didn’t take the Fox sisters rapping on tables to suss who might be upset and why. Stroman had been publicly angling for months to be sent to the Yankees, and even after the trade, his father admitted that Stroman “was hoping it was the Yankees a little bit.” And indeed, multiple reports confirmed that it was Stroman blowing up in the clubhouse, and he was upset he was being sent to Queens. Not that he has anything particular against the Mets, mind you; he had just been hoping to go to a contender, reports the Post and the Sun, with the Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox specifically mentioned.
Here’s how Stroman describes the scene in the clubhouse:
“The commotion was a discussion I had with some of our coaches and some of our higher-ups,” was how Stroman carefully termed it in a Monday conference call. “It was kind of like an exit meeting. I didn’t like how things were handled along the process and that was it. I was voicing my opinion. It hit me kind of quick.
“The conversation was based off how I thought things were handled and the conversation just ended there,” Stroman said. “There’s no hard feelings. I was just voicing my opinion. I’m sure anyone’s going to be frustrated after being here for seven years.”
I’m not sure about that “no hard feelings” part, especially in Toronto. The day after the trade, Blue Jays management did two things. First, they put out that they had tried to sign Stroman to an extension—something the pitcher himself had said a couple days earlier wasn’t true. Second, whatever the hell this is:
Please do not let the fact that Stroman was in fact the longest-tenured Blue Jays veteran completely overshadow the fact that he’s two years older than Noah Syndergaard, the so-called veteran who will keep him in line. If this anonymous Toronto official thought this quote would say something about Stroman instead of about himself, he fucked up.
Stroman does owe the Blue Jays some thanks, I think, for softening the blow of landing on the Mets by reminding him that, hey, at least he’s not in Toronto anymore.