Just yesterday I included Stroman in the list of players that I could see being traded, but I also stated that I don’t see it as a likelihood in his case. I do think there will be a ton of teams asking about him at the deadline, assuming he’s healthy and performing by then, but it should take an awful lot to pry him away from the Blue Jays regardless of where things are at in another six or seven weeks.
With two years remaining before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Blue Jays don’t have to move him at all, and there are plenty of reasons not to. He’s talented of course, and that would be the number one reason. However, the 1b reason might be the lack of major league ready starting pitching at the moment, or more importantly for 2019. They have both Stroman and Aaron Sanchez under control for two more years, and an option on Jaime Garcia, but both Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ will be free agents as season’s end. There are others like Sam Gaviglio and Ryan Borucki, but I don’t know that you can count on either for the long term just yet.
Stroman has the type of top of the rotation talent that you could build a group around, but it’ll all come down to how badly he wants to stay in Toronto, and what type of contract they can agree on. He has stated in the past that he would be more than willing to stick around with a contract extension, but talks haven’t begun to that end, as far as we know at least.
Given his contract situation, his talent, and his charismatic demeanour, Stroman strikes me as arguably the best choice as a building block on the current roster, outside of the minor league All-Stars of course. He hasn’t been that in 2018 yet, but I have a hard time believing that he won’t be able to find the form that made him one of the American League’s best pitchers last year. He works too hard not to get back to having success on the mound.