Blue Jays: How To Handle Marcus Stroman’s Contract Going Forward

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcus Stroman /

After the Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman had their negotiations decided by an arbitrator for the 2nd straight year, is there a way to avoid this in the future?

If you’ve been following the Blue Jays news on Twitter over the last 24 hours, you’ve no doubt noticed the tweets that Marcus Stroman posted about his arbitration results, and many reactions from writers and fans all over the place. At a time when we hope to be getting excited and building positive momentum for the upcoming season, and should be pleased with the addition of another veteran starter in Jaime Garcia, the day was dampened with what happened after the arbitration results were revealed.

For those that missed it, Stroman lost his arbitration case and voiced his obvious displeasure with the ruling on Twitter in a series of a few tweets. It’s unfortunate that the situation went this public and that part is mostly on Stroman regardless of how much I like him. However, the Blue Jays could be blamed in a different way for letting this type of situation develop over $400,000 with one of their most valuable players. It’s not an easy situation for management, however, if it were up to me I would have done whatever I possibly could to avoid this ending to the scenario. I will readily admit that I’m not a General Manager either, and we’ll never know the full details of discussions.

For the moment it’s a situation where what’s done is done, and Stroman will have to work through his frustration with the arbitration results, and whatever happened in the meeting. As things stand he’s under club control for at least three more seasons, so even if he’s over-the-top upset with the Blue Jays right now, he’ll no doubt understand that holding a massive grudge for three years won’t be helpful for anyone.

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Using it as motivation? Sure. But being angry at your employer isn’t a fun place to be in, and he’ll have plenty of veteran voices around him to discuss how things played out. I’m confident everyone will get past this, despite the drama on Thursday.

But if I’m going back to “what I would do”, then I would immediately start looking at the possibility of signing Stroman to a cost-certainty contract that covers at least the next three years. Maybe that wouldn’t include this season, but at the very least I would work on trying to get things locked up until the end of his contract control at 2020. I’d want to take it even further than that, but something tells me it’s too early for that with the former Duke University star, as he has plenty of time to add to his resume before becoming an unrestricted free agent down the line.

Maybe the 26 year old would rather let the season play out and further enhance his value for negotiations next year, and you can’t blame him for that either, but if I’m the Blue Jays I would be looking for a way to avoid this from happening again. It might be worth letting things calm down before engaging Stroman and his agent on the topic, but I would do it sooner than later, for the sake of the long term relationship.

Whether you support Stroman in speaking out publicly or not, no one can dispute his importance to the Blue Jays potential success, both now and in the future. He’s was one of the most talented arms in the game last season, and there’s a good chance he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. That’s the kind of guy you want to keep happy, and the front office would be wise to take steps to make that happen.

For what it’s worth, Stroman has already tweeted that he’s “not mad at all” and is “aware of the business”, so he’s probably doing a little damage control after an emotional moment. That’s okay too, and it’s a great sign that this will hopefully blow over in short order.

Next: Blue Jays sign veteran lefty, Jaime Garcia

But let’s avoid it in the future is possible, please?