Marcus Stroman’s father has his fingers crossed. Earl Stroman hopes the trade that brought his son from the Blue Jays to the Mets on Sunday is an indication the team thinks it can compete for a postseason berth.
“Anything he can help them do to win he'll be happy," Earl Stroman said Monday from Tainan, Taiwan, where he is accompanying his 12-year-old son, Jayden, a pitcher with Team USA in the U-12 Baseball World Cup. “Marcus is happy about being home. Hopefully they make a push towards the playoffs."
The Mets are six games behind in the NL Wild Card race.
Earl Stroman said he assumed his son would be traded to the Yankees or Astros, which had been the buzz before the Mets became heavily involved over the weekend. “He was hoping it was the Yankees a little bit," Stroman said. “He was kind of psyched, maybe hoping to go there. I'm not going to tell you that he wasn't. If he was to leave Toronto at all. Don’t forget, Marcus loved Toronto, his heart was there. The brass [management] didn't kind of appreciate him as much as the fans did. The whole country took to him and they took to me."
Earl Stroman made several trips to Toronto in the six years his son played for the Blue Jays.
Stroman, 28 and a former Patchogue-Medford High School star, can be a free agent after the 2020 season. Would he look at the Yankees? “That’s up to the Yankees," his father said. “I’m sure Marcus will listen to whatever it is the Yankees have to offer."
There is a 12-hour time difference in Taiwan, and Stroman said “my phone was blowing up," early Monday after the deal was announced by the Mets. "Marcus gave me a little hint, he said it looks like it might be the Mets," Stroman said. “Something like that happens, it throws you for a big loop. He has to pack everything to get ready to meet the Mets on the road."
He'll join the Mets in Chicago, where on Tuesday the team opens a three-game interleague series against the White Sox. The Mets are planning a media conference call with Marcus Stroman later on Monday. His last start for Toronto was on Wednesday, July 24.
“His hometown base now, I'll get to see him play a little bit more," the father said. "Marcus wants to win, he's competitive. That kid wants to win and he wants the ball whenever he can."
The pitcher already has the Stroman Burger at Rudi's Bar and Grill in Patchogue, so in the culinary area he joins new teammate Steven Matz, who pitched at Ward Melville and has the Matz Sandwich at Se-Port Delicatessen in East Setauket.
Stroman said his son will not reside at the family’s home in Medford. “I don't know where, not in my house," he said. “When [Matz] was home he couldn't stay at his house, fans would go there and knock on his father’s door with baseball bats. He’ll find somewhere where he’s comfortable."
The first order of business, Stroman said, is to see what the Mets will do in the next few days.
With Gregg Sarra