Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman a trade target: Olney

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman /

There are reports beginning to surface that the Blue Jays will be sellers at this year’s trade deadline, which makes sense after their recent losing skid. Respected baseball writer, Buster Olney, has indicated that there is a lot of interest in Marcus Stroman.

As the Blue Jays have struggled over the last couple weeks, their chances of being a playoff contender have shrivelled to near impossible margins. After losing nine of their last eleven, the rumours are starting to circulate around the club, especially with a few expiring contracts that could add significant value to a contender.

The most likely names to be discussed over the next 3+ weeks will be Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, and Jose Bautista, but there are reports beginning to surface that rival GMs are asking about other names as well. According to Buster Olney, one of the biggest targets for those GMs is 26 year old, Marcus Stroman.

According to the report from Olney, rival GM’s are circling around the talented starter, and are asking if the Blue Jays would consider moving him.

"“I’ve had teams that I’ve spoken with that have talked about Stroman, and talked about how he could be a guy they’d be looking at…. There are a number of teams The Cubs, the Astros, the Yankees all fit this category. Who when they add a starting pitcher before the deadline, they wanna not trade for a rental, someone who is a free agent at the end of the year, but they’d rather focus on a controllable starter, someone that they can control beyond this year. And Marcus is not going to be eligible for free agency until after 2020, so they’re definitely taking a look at him. “"

He follows that by asking, “And then the question becomes, would the Blue Jays actually move him?”

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That may be a difficult question, and a hard concept for Blue Jays fans to even consider. Trading a talented starter who makes just 3.4 million doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface, especially when it’s a player who is as well liked as Stroman has become since entering the big leagues. He’s been the most successful starter on the team this year, as the rest of the cast has either dealt with injury, or underperformance, as has been the case with Marco Estrada for the most part.

While it might seem insane to consider trading a talented youngster like Stroman, Olney actually makes a couple relevant points in the interview that I’m sure Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro are taking into consideration. Stroman will be arbitration eligible for each of the next three seasons, and will enter free agency for the first time in 2021. He’ll continue to get more expensive as he gets further into his career as well, so he won’t be the same kind of bargain for long.

What the Blue Jays will need to ask themselves is when they believe the next window of contention may be. Many writers and pundits (myself included), would argue that this team could be competitive again in 2018 with the right tweaks, and that an entire tear down may be unnecessary. However, if the front office doesn’t agree with that line of thinking, it’s possible they could entertain trading the former first round pick.

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That said, Blue Jays fans shouldn’t overreact, as it would take a massive haul to get the front office to let go of that kind of asset. He not only brings a lot to the table on the field, but he also brings a lot of value in the marketing department. It never hurts to listen though, and there’s a good chance the phone will be ringing this month.