The Toronto Blue Jays entered an all out rebuild midway through 2017. They’ve sold pretty much anything they could since then, from Josh Donaldson to Roberto Osuna to J.A. Happ. While Osuna was traded as a result of a domestic assault investigations, thus forcing the Blue Jays’ hand, the other two deals were actual “baseball deals”.
Whatever the reason for these moves, the Blue Jays have done a horrendous job of recouping value for their assets. The next set of trades they make must help secure some quality talent to supplement the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette down the road.
Enter Marcus Stroman.
More and more trade rumours are coming out each week about the Stro-Show. Oddly enough, they won’t stop anytime soon. He has a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts this season through 81.2 innings pitched. Since Stroman is now 28 years old on a rebuilding team, he’s in an interesting position. He’s older than the future core of the Jays, but young enough where his best years could still be in front of him. The Blue Jays also have some control with Stroman, who’s earning $7.4 million this year and is eligible for arbitration in 2020 before becoming a free agent in 2021.
So, what should the Jays do? If both parties want him to stick around, then perhaps the Jays sign the 2017 World Baseball Classic MVP long term as a steady starter for now and the future. However, if a team offers Toronto quality talent in return for Stroman, they’re definitely pulling the trigger.
Here are some teams who would be the best trade fits for Marcus Stroman:
San Diego Padres
It was reported in December that Toronto and San Diego were engaged in trade discussions surrounding Stroman. Obviously, nothing came to fruition. However, if there’s smoke, there’s fire. In this case, Stro-show to the Padres makes sense. San Diego’s a young team looking to turn a corner with their abundance of prospects as well as Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. A key cog in the rotation like Stroman would benefit the Padres now and in the future. Based on Toronto’s need for pitching and outfielders, here are some prospects who could be part of the deal:
Luis Patino, RHP, 19 years old, MLB.com’s #4 Padres prospect, #42 Top 100: 4-5, 2.92 ERA, 59 K in 49.1 innings at High A ball.
Edward Olivares, OF, 23 years old, MLB.com’s #20 Padres prospect: .260 BA, .332 OBP, 8 HR, 38 RBI in 56 games at Double-A ball.
Reggie Lawson, RHP, 21 years old, MLB.com’s #27 Padres prospect: 3-1, 5.20 ERA, 36 K in 27.2 innings at Double-A ball.
This package gives the Jays pieces that can join the Majors quickly in Olivares and Lawson. Luis Patino projects as a future starter who’s at the ripe age of 19, with a ton of potential. The Padres give away three solid prospects, but they may be inclined to deal them in exchange for a controllable starter. They also have a deep prospect pool so unloading these players in a deal isn’t as costly as it seems.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have been decimated by injuries all year long and it’s strongly affected their rotation. With Luis Severino on the 60 day injured list and James Paxton havng a knee brace, the rotation is in bad shape. This, along with the the struggles of C.C Sabathia and J.A. Happ should motivate Yankees GM Brian Cashman to be active as the trade deadline approaches. With Stroman having a good campaign and the Yankees in contention for a pennant this season, a deal makes sense. Additionally, Stroman grew up in Medford, New York and would more than likely welcome a trade to the pinstripes.
It’s no surprise that rumours came up over the weekend that the Yankees have spoken with Toronto about Stroman. Here’s what the Bronx Bombers could throw around in a deal to bring the 28 year old starter home to NY:
Antonio Cabello, OF, 18 years old, MLB.com’s #9 Yankees prospect: Has not played this season.
Michael King, RHP, 24 years old, MLB.com’s #12 Yankees prospect: Has not played this season.
Josh Stowers, OF, 22 years old, MLB.com’s #24 Yankees prospect: .273 BA, .363 OBP, 5 HR, 16 RBI at Single A ball this year.
This package, while at first seeming like a lot in return for Stroman, would make a lot of sense. Cabello and King are ranked fairly high in the Yankees’ system. However, they’ve yet to play this year which means they’ll be cheaper than usual.
Once he’s back from injury, King should be nearly good to go as a pitcher on the Jays roster, either as a back of the rotation starter or bullpen arm for now. Cabello is a long term prospect with a high ceiling who fits Toronto’s outfield need. Stowers is somewhere in the middle, but with continued success could start flying through the minor leagues. He could certainly be on his way to a big league spot sooner rather than later.
On paper, it’s a bit of a steep asking price for Stroman. Despite that, if the Yankees get desperate, this trade isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
The Braves are a great fit for Marcus Stroman. They currently have a solid 1-2-3 in their rotation with Mike Soroka (1.38 ERA), Julio Teheran (3.03 ERA) and Max Fried (3.75 ERA). After that, Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz have had lackluster seasons thus far and cannot be relied upon to start in the postseason.
The Braves recently signed Dallas Keuchel, which could provide some help in the rotation. Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos, former general manager of the Blue Jays, could shop for one more arm to pull the rotation together down the stretch. After all, he drafted Stroman and has the prospect depth to make a move. Anthopoulos’ time in Toronto proved that he’s a deal-maker when his team is in contention. Stroman can hit in the NL too, just check out this homer he hit right in the Braves’ barn:
Anyways, here’s what the Braves could move to get themselves a potential deadly rotation:
Drew Waters, OF, 20 years old, MLB.com’s #5 Braves prospect: .327 BA, .372 OBP, 3 HR, 24 RBI in 63 games at Double-A.
Daysbel Hernandez, RHP, 22 years old, MLB.com’s #26 Braves prospect: 4-1, 1.61 ERA, 37 K in 28 innings at High A ball.
Ben Rowen, RHP, 30 years old: 5-2, 2.61 ERA, 40 K in 48.1 innings at Triple-A ball.
The Blue Jays get a bit of everything in this deal. Waters has the potential to be a star in right field or centre, and he moved through the Braves’ system quickly. Hernandez throws heat and struggles with command, but could project as a solid late game reliever. Ben Rowen provides some pitching depth for the big league club at the moment. His numbers aren’t too bad either, so perhaps he could earn a spot on the team as an innings eater. He’s a flyer if nothing else.
From Atlanta’s perspective, they give up a quality prospect in Waters and a decent one in Hernandez. Along with that, they give up some organizational pitching depth as well. In return, they add another weapon to their pitching staff that can propel this team into contention.