The past two seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays can be summed up in one word: disappointing. After reaching the ALCS in back-to-back seasons, Canada's lone Major League Baseball franchise has been on the outside looking in since 2017 despite fielding a talented roster.
This winter, the team is likely primed for a shakeup, and one man who may be on the move is starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.
Ross Atkins, on if demand for pitching could put Marcus Stroman in play: “No one likes Marcus more than we do. We value him the most. I suppose that could change or someone values him more than us. We would listen but right now, we definitely like him more than any other team.”— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 7, 2018
Stroman has spent all five of his big league seasons with the Blue Jays and was predicted to flourish into the ace of the staff after a breakout 2017 campaign where he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA. Unfortunately a persistent blister issue sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2018 and inflated his ERA up to an unsightly 5.54.
Even though 2018 was a down year, the Blue Jays still believe that he can replicate his 2017 productivity. However, the Blue Jays may value his upside more as an asset on the trade market than on their roster. Many teams are starved for starting pitching and Stroman could yield a decent package to help Toronto build around their upcoming young stars.
Marcus Stroman... maybe the Blue Jays finally move him. https://t.co/UWwEXiX0qr— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) November 6, 2018
The Jays would be wise to try and deal Stroman. There's no guarantee that he will ever get his blister situation under control (look at Aaron Sanchez), and given the contract he could command down the road, Toronto would be making a smart move to get rid of his while he has max value.
The money the team could save as well as any prospects they might acquire would be much more helpful to a team that is likely to rebuild. Even though GM RoAtkins seems to be holding his cards close to his vest, I would not be surprised to see Stroman in a different uniform come Spring Training.