Toronto Blue Jays Need to Keep Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman has been a hot item for teams looking to trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto is making the right move by keeping him in town.
Despite the additions made by the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, the Toronto Blue Jays have designs upon the American League title. There may be holes at first base and in right field, but with a solid bullpen and starting rotation, the Blue Jays still have an eye on having success this season, extending into the postseason.
Understandably, with those openings in the lineup, teams with extra outfielders have been contacting the Blue Jays looking to make a trade. One of the more popular targets in these trade talks has been Marcus Stroman, the 25 year old righty who made quite the impression as a rookie in 2014. After tearing ligaments in his knee during Spring Training in 2015, he struggled last year. In 2016, Stroman posted a 9-10 record with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.289 WHiP, striking out 166 batters in 204 innings.
Even though the overall numbers were not impressive, Stroman pitched well down the stretch. Despite a 1-6 record in the final two months, he posted a 3.28 ERA and a 1.209 WHiP. He struck out 65 batters with only 19 walks in his 68.2 innings, generating ground ball after ground ball in his starts. Those initial struggles, where Stroman did not appear to be driving with his lower half, were over.
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At least, that is what interested teams would be counting upon. The 25 year old righty has yet to enter his prime, and as he gets further removed from that knee injury, should get closer to his original form. That progress was certainly evident over those final two months in 2016.
While those eleven starts could be enticing for another team, they are exactly why the Blue Jays should hold on to Stroman. Aaron Sanchez is an exciting young starter, but J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada are not going to be much better than what they are. Stroman has a great deal of upside, and could prove to be quite the upgrade next season.
With better health, Stroman could slot in as the Blue Jays second starter, providing a great deal of depth to the rotation. While that still would leave the Blue Jays behind the Red Sox in terms of expectations from the rotation, the difference may not be as dramatic as one would think. And, the Blue Jays overall rotational depth may be better.
Teams are asking the Toronto Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman. So far, they have been wise in keeping him off the table.