Contradicting reports emerging on ex-Blue Jays pitcher’s discussions with arch rival

Former Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman apparently wants to sign with the Yankees, but there are conflicting reports about if the team is interested or not.

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Mention Marcus Stroman around Toronto Blue Jays fans, and it's a 50/50 shot if you'll get a positive or negative opinion about the pitcher. He's either passionate or arrogant, a stand-up guy or a trouble maker, truthful or too honest for his own good, and so on.

In this respect, it seems almost fitting that there are conflicting reports out there, regarding the New York Yankees' apparent interest in Stroman. Interestingly, the conflicting information initially came from the same source, Bob Nightengale.

First up, the MLB insider's latest weekend column for USA Today suggested Stroman had interest in signing for the Yankees, but they had declined to make an offer. However, on MondayNightengale reported that there was mutual interest, which dated back to the General Managers meetings in November.

Obviously this is slightly confusing - talk about hedging your bets! Further, it's not as if it's a case of Nightengale getting updated information to suggest the Yankees had now changed their mind, given the information from the second report seems to precede the first one.

So which is it?

So which update should we believe? Well if nothing else, Nightengale's second report has been backed up by another MLB insider, although Blue Jays fans may also want to take this with a pinch of salt.

That's because the second source is one Jon Morosi. That would be the same Jon Morosi who reported Shohei Ohtani was flying to Toronto, which helped send the Blue Jays fan base into a frenzy that he was actually going to sign for their team.

How this all plays out remains to be seen, but what we do know is that the Yankees would like to add another front-line starter to their rotation. The question is, does Stroman represent the right choice for them?

The pros and cons

On the one hand, the 2012 22nd overall draft pick is a quality option, who has overcome his lack of size to enjoy a fine career in the Majors. He's lasted nine years -- not including 2020, when he didn't play -- and has a resume which includes two All-Star selections, one of which was just last season.

However, on the other hand you can make the case that Stroman's effectiveness and durability is starting to decline. He produced the worst walk rate of his career last season, along with his highest ERA and fewest combined innings since 2018.

Again relating to his durability, the 32-year-old has battled against stamina issues throughout his career as it is. In addition, do the Yankees really want a player on their team who is prone to being too emotional, which you assume could become even more of a risk if he is indeed on the downside of his Major League career.

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Stroman declined his player option of $21 million for this coming season with the Cubs, clearly in the hope of securing one final big payday. You know the Yankees have the money to make this become a reality, although you imagine there are a lot of Blue Jays fans who would prefer the righty does not return to the AL East.