By: Noah Wright
Marcus Stroman has stated that he thinks his time in Toronto is limited, which could be very true. He’s only controlled through the 2020 season, and the Jays are in kind of a rebuild. In all likelihood, he’d be traded by the July deadline. To get an idea of what kind of return Stroman could net for the Blue Jays, we first have to establish his value.
Currently, Stroman is in the midst of a pretty good 2019 season. Through 104 and two thirds innings, Stroman has a 3.18 ERA, 3.79 FIP, and 1.261 WHIP. While Stroman doesn’t strikeout too many batters (7.9 K/9), he has solid control (2.8 BB/9) and doesn’t allow too many long balls (.9 HR/9). Plus, the 28 year old has an excellent 57.5% groundball rate. Though That would mark his lowest GB% since his rookie 2014 season, it’s still strong as he sits 2nd in GB% in the MLB. Stroman is injured right now after being diagnosed with a left shoulder pectoral cramp in his last start, it’s unlikely to be anything too severe. However it is worth mentioning that Stroman struggled greatly with injury last year. He pitched in just 102 and a third innings, and it’s possible that the injury affected his pitching. Stroman had a 5.54 ERA and 1.476 WHIP in 2018, but still had a solid 3.91 FIP. 2020 will be his last season of arbitration.
Now that we have established the kind of value Stroman holds, what kind of prospects could we see heading back in the deal. Right now, the Astros, and Yankees seem like the most likely destinations for Stro. The Astros have showed interest in the Jays’ right hander in the past and even more recently, and Stroman has stated that he would like to pitch for the Yankees. Between the two, I see the Astros with the slightly better chances. The Stros have the deeper farm system which works in their favor. Now I don’t see Stroman reeling in either Forest Whitley or Kyle Tucker, but I think they can get at least 1 top 100 guy. Both Corbin Martin and J.B. Bukauskas stand out as the team’s #4 prospect and $5 prospect. Martin ranks as MLB’s #48th best prospect while Bukauskas ranks as MLB’s #98th best prospect. Stroman could also probably fetch another mid-tier prospect. Currently, the Jays’ outfield future is a bit dim. Currently, the outfield consists of Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuck, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Gurriel Jr. looks like a solid piece to build around, but Hernandez has struggled mightily this season, and isn’t much of a fielder. Randal Grichuk did pretty good last year, but isn’t exactly screaming building block. The team’s best outfield prospect is currently Anthony Alford, who has struggled in the MLB, and is doing so-so in AAA. While the Astros’ Myles Straw isn’t a top 100 prospect, the team’s #13th prospect gets on base, is an extreme speed threat, hits for a decent average, and has elite outfield defense with an even better arm. He is doing well in the MLB as well as in AAA. A package of either Martin or Bukauskas, Straw, and another smaller piece is within reason for Stroman.
As for the Yankees, I don’t think they’re chances are 0. They’ll definitely make a push for Stroman. They have 2 top 100 prospects with Estevan Florial (#47) and Jonathan Losaiga (#97). The Yankees probably won’t be too keen on parting with Florial, but Losaiga could be included in a deal. However Losaiga hasn’t been doing all that well in AAA or MLB. The 24 year old has an ERA over 4 in the MLB, and 7 in AAA. Though the Yankees could throw in outfielder Clint Frazier, who was killing it in the MLB before being optioned, and Chance Adams, who is doing well in AAA.
Stroman could really help the Blue Jays future in a trade. Regardless of what team trades for him, he’ll bring back a decent haul if the Jays play their cards right.