Former Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman offered up some comments about Toronto’s front office and their approach, which make you think
The Toronto Blue Jays sent Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets for a return at which many have turned their nose upwards. We have known for a while that the Blue Jays front office was looking to move the Long Island native, the strength of that desire we may never know. They did not find a deal to their liking last winter and took what they felt was the best deal they could get at the Trade Deadline. Underlying all of this is a clear need for separation. Whether that is because Stroman doesn’t fit the kind of player the club wants, or not is really the stuff of rumours.
What we do know is that Stroman has been very public about wanting to stay in Toronto and the club not returning the sentiment. He has openly criticized management, which didn’t stop after the trade.
After he was sent to New York, he continued to voice his displeasure: “I want to win, always, every year. I just want the organization to be invested in winning and going out there and putting the best product on the field and doing everything they can to get wins. I think that’s what this game’s about. I don’t think we (as players) are about saving wins for four or five years from now. I don’t think fans like that, either.”
He later goes on to compare the 2019 version of the organization with the 2015 one, which was captained by Alex Anthopoulos. The “all in” approach then brought a .500 team to the postseason. That would excite anyone and must be an incredible experience for a player to be part of. However, Stroman’s comments show a complete disregard for how a winning team is put on the field. Going all in is not a sustainable approach. AA tried it multiple times and had to wait a while before the next attempt succeeded.
It would make sense for Stroman to say the things he is saying, though. Obviously, he is someone who wants the fans on his side. He was very intentional, telling fans that he would have stayed if it weren’t for the front office who never approach the conversation with him. For a fan base that already has an incredible disdain for those running the organization, this is more fuel for the fire. That is not to say that Stroman was not telling the truth, but in doing so, he takes another opportunity to stick it to management.
There is another perspective from which this commentary makes sense. With a new CBA around the corner, the Players’ Union will certainly look to address the way players are being paid. Stroman is a smart dude and a team player, so he’s doing his part to help. If you put this together with the fact that he supported the team being called cheap and was pushing for the Blue Jays to sign more veterans because he thought it was unfair that he was supposed to step into a leadership role, you get a sense that he has been working to ensure ‘older talent’ isn’t forgotten in favour of the youth movement taking place in MLB.
Here’s the thing: He’s kind of wrong. Simply throwing money round to field a team of “names” doesn’t exactly lead to winning baseball. It does, however, lead to a situation where you have aging veterans on heavy contracts playing, getting hurt and taking up financial resources. In short, you get exactly what the Blue Jays had last year and the year before. In order to build a consistent competitive team, you have to clear the roster of all of those commitments.
Finding the right balance of youth and veterans is not an easy task. Despite the confusing moves of this past Trade Deadline, the Blue Jays are taking the approach of establishing the youth and then spending to compliment said core. In fact, this is the exact situation that would have been ideal for Stroman to extend his time in Toronto had the relationship not sour.
Every rebuild requires painful years. The Chicago Cubs know all about that. The Houston Astros are the most recent example of a bad team growing from within and then spending on big pieces to compliment the roster – see Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. This is not to say that the Blue Jays will win a World Series in 3 or 4 years, but they could have spent a ton of money on aging veterans and made a push for the playoffs (in the AL East where teams are rather good) and bankrupt the future. A moment of glory now can cost you years of pain.
Some would choose to go this way, but the Blue Jays front office believes that a few years of pain will be rewarded with years of competitive teams. With all due respect to the StroShow, I’d rather that.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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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.