The Toronto Blue Jays are poised to move Marcus Stroman before the end of the month and the Atlanta Braves could make the most sense and be the likeliest fit.
The Atlanta Braves sit perched atop the National League East, however, they desperately need a front of the rotation starter to complement rookie Mike Soroka. Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos is very familiar with Marcus Stroman from his days in Toronto and was part of the regime that drafted the Duke Univerity hurler in 2012.
Atlanta is loaded with top tier pitching prospects that they could dangle to entice Ross Atkins to pull the trigger. The Braves have recently added free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel but the inabilities of Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman could handcuff their rotation down the stretch.
According to MLB.com, three of the Braves top five organizational prospects are pitchers with Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson, and Bryse Wilson. However, aside from the prized trio, the Braves also have Luiz Gohara, Kolby Allard, Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller rounding out the top ten. The Braves are stockpiled with young arms as 17 of their top 30 prospects are pitchers.
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The Blue Jays are in desperate need of young arms with Ross Atkins under the microscope to hit it out of the park if he opts to deal Stroman. If Atkins swings and misses on this one, it very well may cost him his job.
The Houston Astros are also front runners in the Stroman talks even though their top pitching prospects have struggled this season. The Jays and Astros have recently lined up for a couple of trades so their familiarity with one another could play a factor. Both Teoscar Hernandez and Trent Thornton were acquired in two separate deals with the Astros.
We should get some clarity on the Stroman situation sooner than later but the Braves definitely have the pitching plethora for Atkins to win this deal and capitalize on the Braves need for an All-Star caliber arm.