Marcus Stroman has the sixth-lowest ERA in the American League (3.06). He has the eighth highest WAR (3.0), has only given up ten home runs all season, and has held opposing batters to a .251 BA (mostly singles). With those stats, you would hope he is playing for a contender—but he isn’t.
Stroman plays for the lowly Toronto Blue Jays.
Not much was expected of the Blue Jays coming into the 2019 MLB season. On April 1, their odds to win the AL East were already +17000, +5300 to win the pennant, and +11700 to win the World Series. Of course, playing in the ultra-competitive AL East doesn’t help.
As of July 23, they are in fourth place in the division; 27 games back of the Yankees and 19.5 back in the wild card race. While they are not mathematically eliminated yet, it is probably safe to say that they are not going to make the playoffs this season.
This makes them a prime candidate to sell before the trade deadline next week—and Stroman, a prime candidate to be sold. But will the Blue Jays let their best pitcher go? Oddsmakers at Bovada.lv seem to think they will trade him:
- Will Marcus Stroman be traded before the 2019 deadline?
o Yes -600
o No +400
That means there is about an 85 percent chance they trade him and a 20 percent chance they do not.
As many as eight teams had scouts in attendance at his last start, last Friday in Detroit. He made it a good one for them to watch striking out five while holding the Tigers scoreless for seven innings (six hits).
Several contenders are said to be interested. The Yankees are always looking to add the best talent on the market. Houston needs another solid starter for their rotation as is Milwaukee, Minnesota, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
With the top of the AL getting a little crowded this year, it would not be shocking to see the Yankees, Astros, or Twins make the Blue Jays a significant offer. However, the question isn’t whether anyone is going to try to acquire Stroman.
It’s whether the Blue Jays will trade him.
Stroman is just 28 and under contract through next season which will make him even more enticing to buyers. But if they are in the midst of or will be rebuilding, doesn’t it make sense to hold onto a good, young pitcher like Stroman.
Maybe, but when you can get a few good players for the price of one, trading him is worth considering. It sounds like the Blue Jays may be looking to do just that. Last month, Stroman told reporters the Blue Jays don’t appear to be interested in signing him to an extension:
“It doesn’t seem like I’m going to be signed here to a long-term deal. It’s just something you have to come to terms with.”
It sounds like he expects to be traded. With the dire straits the club is in and the haul they could get for him, trading Stroman would be a logical move.