After Marcus Stroman was again very critical of the Blue Jays’ front office on his way out the door, it’s a shame to see that happen with another veteran who has been traded.
It hasn’t been that easy for Blue Jays fans to move on from the loss of beloved players like Marcus Stroman, or even Eric Sogard prior to the July 31 trade deadline, even if they have won five in a row after Friday night’s victory over the Orioles.
Part of the reason for that is because there has been a constant stream of news around the former Blue Jay since he was traded to the New York Mets, mostly because Stroman is still talking about the deal for the public to hear.
The 28 year old might be excited about playing in New York and the opportunity he now has with the Mets, but that hasn’t stopped him from letting fans know that he was hurt by how things went down in Toronto, and he’s still not happy with the way the narrative has shaped up. In fact, on Friday he was interviewed by Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, and ended up throwing a bunch of gas on a fire that was starting to die down.
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Stroman talked about the past, reminiscing about the playoff teams from 2015 and 2016, and even going as far as to say that players like Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, David Price, and others share the feeling that the window of opportunity that team had was closed too early. We don’t have direct quotes from those other guys, and something tells me that they won’t all appreciate that their names were brought up in this discussion.
The former Blue Jay also reiterated again that he was never offered a contract extension at any time prior to the trade, despite some comments and reports to the contrary. We’ll likely never know the full truth of the situation, but it’s more than clear that Stroman didn’t feel wanted in Toronto, and he wasn’t happy with Ross Atkins, Mark Shapiro, and the rest of the front office staff for sending him packing.
I can’t help but think about how there were other recent Blue Jays were didn’t have the kindest comments one they had traded uniforms. Troy Tulowitzki was quite vocal this spring and vowed to show the Blue Jays that they made a mistake in letting him go and paying out his salary so he could play somewhere else. Unfortunately for the former All-Star, no amount of motivation was enough to change that, and hopefully he’ll be a little more understanding of the Blue Jays’ stance on things now, even if it’s a tough pride pill to swallow.
Going back further, Josh Donaldson didn’t have glowing remarks for the front office on his way to Cleveland either, and had expressed some interest in sticking around in Toronto for the next generation of this team. That obviously didn’t happen, nor did it for a tearful Encarnacion as he signed a contract in Cleveland despite reportedly wanting to stay north of the border as well.
"“I’ve made the all-star game. I had a Gold Glove. I threw back-to-back (seasons) of 200 innings and I never heard a word from any of those guys (in the front office)…..“There was nothing offered ever from their perspective,” Stroman says of Jays GM Ross Atkins’ comments that there were some talks. “If they do say that, it’s a complete lie. It is what it is. That’s the truth. I’m not going to beat around that.“It’s pretty apparent. I’ve been waiting to take some type of deal since I’ve been there. I’ve been offered nothing.”"
It’s not fair to make a villain out of the Blue Jays’ front office for turning over the roster, even if all of these beloved former Blue Jays wanted to stick around. In my opinion, the young talent that’s already arrived is enough to justify the decision to go through a rebuild, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, and more already look like future stars. However, it’s a shame that things have turned toxic on so many occasions as veterans have moved on.
It’s more important that the Blue Jays’ front office develops good relationships and trust with their young talent, and hopefully they’re putting their energy into that with this talented young group. It might not matter that much if departed players are upset that they couldn’t stick around, but it’s not the greatest look, and ultimately it’s just a shame. Hopefully time will heal some hurt feelings.