According to one report, the Toronto Blue Jays asked the Cubs for big league talent when they asked about obtaining Marcus Stroman
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to get better. As the July 31st Trade Deadline approaches, they will have to figure out exactly what that means. They have a bevy of talent on their roster they can use to swing deals that could make them better now, and in the future. Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, Joe Smith, Jose Bautista and J.A. Happ have all been mentioned in one way, or another.
It is thought that Toronto has another year (maybe two) left in its window to compete with players like Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin under contract. But, after that, they will need to rely on prospect pieces making a step forward and the current core becoming the talented veterans. One such core piece is Marcus Stroman.
The 26 yr old looks to be a major part of future plans of this organization. He’s under team control through 2020. He’s a ground ball machine who has proven to be an inning eater as well. After throwing 204 innings in 2016, he’s well on his way to repeating (112 IP) his efforts. He brings a 3.28 ERA with him into Monday’s series against the Red Sox and has looked every bit the talent the organization believes him to be.
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That’s why it is rather interesting to hear that the Blue Jays connected to the Cubs right before they landed Jose Quintana. Peter Gammons tells us that the Cubs tried multiple teams before agreeing with Chicago. One of those teams was the Blue Jays. According to Gammons, the Blue Jays wanted someone off the Cubs big league roster.
In all honesty, the initial alarm over hearing something like this should be set aside in favor of logic. Let’s be real. The Cubs would be silly not to call the Blue Jays, who are quite far back in a playoff spot. Those are the teams you call when you are looking to make a trade. And, asking for Stroman would make perfect sense.
If you’re the Blue Jays, you listen to other teams asking about every single player. Why not? Some might feel strongly that the Blue Jays should have just hung up the phone as soon as they heard the StrowShow’s name mentioned; that he’s untouchable. And, maybe, to a certain extent he is. That extent wouldn’t ever be known if the Blue Jays just hung up the phone. It is in their best interest to gauge value of their own players. And, starting your asking price at a big league piece certainly fits with their notion of wanting to improve now.
The problem is that removing Stroman from the roster would be difficult to imagine as a move that serves the purpose of improving. It would leave a massive hole in the starting rotation and could serve to alienate a certain population of the fan base. Before you scream that this last point doesn’t matter, please recall that club president, Mark Shapiro, and GM, Ross Atkins, already have made it clear that ticket sales, etc will heavily impact on the direction of this organization. They will operate in any way that puts butts in the seats. So, as much as some folks say that the front office bases decisions on logic and aren’t too concerned with what’s popular, pulling off a move like this would be incredibly unpopular.
That would likely be squashed depending on the big league piece coming back. There is no indication as to who that piece (or pieces) was, of course. We can guess – Kyle Schwarber is said to have been available. You have to think that might not be enough to pry Stroman away from Toronto. Young, talented, controllable pitching has to be more difficult to get than that.
At this time of year, you have to expect that these conversations will happen regularly. It is part of each team doing its job. For the Toronto Blue Jays, setting the price high on some of their best talent is to be expected. If anyone is dealt, it will be interesting to see if the actual returns match what was asked for. If Toronto is going to improve, they will need some high end talent. Sometimes, that means you have to give up some as well.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.