Trade activity has started to pick up across the league, mere days away from the MLB trade deadline. After a known trade candidate had a subpar outing, now may be the time for the Toronto Blue Jays to strike in their quest to add more starting pitching.
Marcus Stroman made what could be his final start with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night in a game that turned out to be anything but a pitcher's duel against Lance Lynn and the White Sox.
He got absolutely shelled by the cross-town rivals in 3 1/3 innings on work. He gave up seven runs on nine hits, striking out four along the way. The ugly outing raised his season ERA from 3.09 to 3.51.
Stroman has had a marvelous season for the Cubbies but has been riding the struggle bus recently. The former Blue Jay had been pitching like a man on a mission until the end of June, with a 9-4 record, 2.28 ERA and 14 quality starts in his 16 outings.
Like most pitchers this season, the regression monster came for him and showed no mercy. In six starts since June 25, he is 1-3 with an 8.00 ERA, only managing to throw one quality start.
How much will this stretch of poor outings affect the 32-year-old's trade value? Despite the rumor mill kicking into overdrive around the Cubs starter, there's no guarantee that the team will actually move Stroman by the deadline, despite his ability to opt out of his deal after this season.
For the right price, however, Chicago would be wise to move on and cash in before his value drops any further or he ends up walking at season's end. The Jays may be able to take advantage of his recent dip in performance and offer enough from their farm system to orchestrate a welcome reunion with their former first-round pick.