Where does Stroman rank?
If we’re trying to figure out where Stroman ranks compared to the rest of the options on this list, that order could be different depending on which front office you’re asking. I would bet that teams like the Yankees, who have seen a lot of him over the last few years, or the Braves, who employ Alex Anthopoulos, may see him with higher value than others. Then again, who knows.
If you’re asking me, I’d put Stroman in Tier 2 with Minor and Bumgarner, a tick or two below the top tier options that could be available. That list could also grow if the Diamondbacks decided to trade Zack Greinke, or if there was another surprise on the market, but at this stage it’s hard to see there being too many surprises.
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Of course, value comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay, and it’ll be interesting to see how Atkins and the Blue Jays handle trading arguably their most valuable moveable asset. They weren’t able to get maximum value for Josh Donaldson when he was injured in the final year of his contract, and so far the return for J.A. Happ (Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury) has been pretty disappointing. Especially because Stroman has an extra year of control and makes his 7.4 million this year, this is an important trade both for their reputation and for the future of this franchise, and they can’t afford to mess it up.
The Blue Jays are pretty flush with talented young infielders, and the hope is that they can supplement their system with some additional pitching prospects, and possibly some talent in the outfield as well. There are contenders who have those type of pieces in their minor league systems, it will just be a matter of finding a suitable deal, and one that will work for the Blue Jays and the rest of their talented core that’s started to form.
It’s not a guarantee that Stroman is going to be dealt before the end of the month, but after all of the comments and reports that have floated around the media, it feels like a foregone conclusion. Hopefully the front office can still maximize his value if they do end up pulling the trigger on a deal, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the return on that deal compares with other swaps for starting pitchers across the league. Stroman is one of the better options out there, and hopefully he fetches that type of return, if he’s dealt at all.