The New York Mets have reached an agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays on a trade to acquire right-hander Marcus Stroman in exchange for pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson, per the teams:

Stroman, 28, is under team control through the 2020 season. In 20 starts this year, he’s compiled a 3.06 ERA (148 ERA+) and 2.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 57.1 groundball percentage was the highest among American League starting pitchers, and ranks second in the majors among qualified pitchers behind Dakota Hudson, per FanGraphs. Stroman made his first All-Star Game this season, and has averaged six innings per appearance.

Stroman was among the top available starters, making his acquisition a surprising one by the Mets, who are not considered to be in legitimate contention at 50-55. Yet it’s evidence that Brodie Van Wagenen and company intend to attempt to thread a fine needle of trading Noah Syndergaard without punting on their 2020 competitive chances. Syndergaard, by the way, is not expected to be part of this deal:

It’s worth noting the Mets have one of the weaker farm systems in baseball. Kay was ranked as their No. 4 prospect, per MLB.com, while Woods-Richardson checked in at No. 6. Kay has struggled in seven starts at Triple-A this season, but is considered a potential mid-rotation starter thanks to a collection of solid-average pitches. Woods-Richardson, meanwhile, is an athletic teenager with the chance to turn into a mid-rotation starter, depending on the development of his command and changeup. 

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