3 players the Blue Jays should keep a close eye on and 2 to avoid as the deadline nears

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates, Marcus Stroman
Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates, Marcus Stroman / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs

It just seemed like it happened yesterday when Marcus Stroman was dealt to the Mets back in 2019 for Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Since then, Stroman has continued to be a solid front-end of the rotation for the Mets and now the Chicago Cubs, whereas both Kay and Woods-Richardson are no longer with the Jays’ organization. Nevertheless, at least the Jays eventually turned Woods-Richardson into José Berríos, so not all was lost in the trade.

The Cubs had been out of it for much of the 2023 season, until a recent 11-6 run in the month of June. However, they are still quite the distance away from playoff contention. If Stroman becomes available as a result, the Jays should really consider about reacquiring the services of their former ace starter. For 2023, Stroman has been having one of his best seasons in his career, as in 17 starts, he is 9-5 with a 2.47 ERA, 1.078 WHIP, 178 ERA+, giving up only 28 earned runs, five home runs, 35 walks and 85 strikeouts over 102 innings pitched. Not only would Stroman be a viable fill-in for the Jays’ rotation, he would actually slot in nicely as their number two starter behind ace Kevin Gausman.

Despite the impressive numbers, many fans may still have some doubts and worries with regards to Stroman, because he has never shied away from expressing himself vocally in the past, so some may view it as a potential distraction for the tight-knit ballclub. However, it is that same emotional, expressive attitude that has been sorely missed and also currently lacking in the Jays’ clubhouse for much of the year. By bringing back Stroman, his presence could ignite the energy and passion of his teammates once again and provide that necessary spark to kickstart the ballclub to head back in the right direction, which is to enjoy the game and keep on winning.