In recent weeks, we have been speculating Chicago Cubs’ starter Marcus Stroman as a potential trade target for the Toronto Blue Jays and how a reunion with their former ace could help make a difference for the team down the stretch.
On Sunday, the first reports that the Blue Jays have official interest in bringing Stroman back began to surface on Twitter.
It is to no surprise that the Jays would be interested in Stroman, as he represents one of the most solid and attractive starting pitchers available for the trade deadline and hence, will be among the most highly coveted asset for any contending team.
Stroman previously spent six seasons as a member of the Blue Jays from 2014-2019 in which he compiled a 47-45 winning record, 3.76 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, with 635 strikeouts over 789.2 innings pitched. More importantly, he was a key part of the Jays’ postseason runs in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he started the critical Game 5 of the ALDS in the do-or-die game against the Texas Rangers, and we all know how that turned out, bat flippin’ and all. In 2016, he started the single-elimination Wild Card playoff game against the Baltimore Orioles, with Edwin Encarnacion walking off the Orioles in extra innings to secure the victory for the Jays. So Stroman has definitely been there in the biggest moments in Jays’ playoff history.
As a result, bringing in the big game pitcher into the heat of the playoff battle, along with his knack of performing at his best at the biggest stage is something the Jays should really consider. After all, Stroman has actually become even better since leaving Toronto, producing dominant seasons with the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs in recent years. This year, he is 10-6 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, all among his best numbers in his career.
Ideally, this is the right time to bring Stroman back to the Jays for a second go-around and hopefully he could bring them to the next level, just like he did a few years back. But knowing the strong expressive nature of Stroman, who is willing to speak his mind and share his thoughts and feelings in the past, the main dilemma is will he help make or break the Jays’ current ballclub, and should the Jays take the chance and go for it nevertheless?