The Toronto Blue Jays at all costs need to avoid going to arbitration with Marcus Stroman once again, one possible way to overcome that would be to lock up the hurler long-term.
Marcus Stroman is arguably the face of the franchise, he is active on social media engaging fans and makes no bones about his love for Toronto and Canada. The young hurler has a work ethic second to none and constantly strives to improve himself while motivating others around him.
The Blue Jays have been unable to avoid an arbitration hearing the past two offseasons and now would be a good time to show a long-term commitment to the “Stro-Show.” The Jays could buy out the remaining two years of his control while tacking on an additional three years and solidifying Stroman remains a Blue Jays until he is 32 years old.
Last season Stroman earned $6.5 million and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $7.2 million in 2019. What about a 5-year pact in the neighborhood of $65 million, would that get it done?
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Stroman is eligible to hit free agency in 2021 the same time as teammate Aaron Sanchez. The difference is Sanchez is represented by agent Scott Boras and will be a tough sign. We are all familiar with the track record of the hardnosed Boras who just days ago took a jab at the Blue Jays front office after a drop in attendance last season. So why not lock up Stroman and let the chips fall where they may with Sanchez.
In all likelihood, Stroman will be the Jays opening day starter and has ace potential when everything is clicking. After a down season in 2018, the hurler will look to channel his inner 2017 where he posted a 3.09 earned run average and finished 8th in AL Cy Young award voting.
Baseball is a business and the arbitration process is part of the game, however, why not reward Stroman for his contributions and alleviate any doubt while proving to “Stro” and the fans that he is an important piece of the puzzle moving forward for this organization.