Toronto Blue Jays: Trading Marcus Stroman makes little sense

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 28: Marcus Stroman
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 28: Marcus Stroman /

While it may well be time for the Toronto Blue Jays to rebuild, this should not include moving pitcher Marcus Stroman.

It turned out to be an unhappy Canada Day weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost all three-games in a pivotal home series against the Boston Red Sox. Monday’s 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees only compounded matters, as they saw their overall losing streak increase to five straight.

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Jays stand 10.5 games out of first place in the AL East. And even though they are just five games back of the second wild card place, seven teams sit between them and that coveted spot.

With all this in mind, maybe it should come as no surprise the team is now considering their options for the remainder of the 2017 season. In fact, ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Jays are looking to make some significant changes.

Speaking to TSN Radio 1050 Toronto’s Naylor and Landsberg on Tuesday morning, Olney said the Jays are preparing to take a “hard right-hand turn into retooling or rebuilding”.

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Now it should be noted there is some difference between retooling and rebuilding. Retooling would indicate the Jays are still thinking postseason and simply want to get better at the trade deadline, to prepare for one final push.

In that respect, just last week general manager Ross Atkins spoke to Naylor and Landsberg to discuss the team’s plans heading towards the trade deadline. In particular, Atkins claimed he was still focused on adding pieces to improve the roster.

However, that was before the series-deflating sweep by the Red Sox and the five-game losing streak. Yes, there’s still some way to go, but we can no longer say it’s early in the season.

As such, it’s entirely possible the Jays are leaning more towards a total rebuild. Whichever scenario turns out to be the case, other teams are already anticipating who the Jays would be prepared to move.

Of particular interest, Olney said teams have begun to scout pitcher Marcus Stroman, in anticipation of him being available some time before the non-waiver deadline on August 1. The question is, would the Jays genuinely consider trading him?

While every player has their price, you imagine it would take a lot to persuade the Jays to move Stroman. Further, whether you are rebuilding or just retooling, is he not a cornerstone of your rotation for the foreseeable future, especially at just 26-years old?

Admittedly, the Medford, New York native had a poor season last year, highlighted by a 9-10 record in 32 starts and a career-high 4.37 ERA. However, he has bounced back in 2017 and is looking more like the player the Jays were predicting him to be.

Still though, Olney believes the team needs to take a serious look at moving Stroman, especially if they do decide to undergo a major revamp. The baseball columnist also makes reference to him getting closer to free agency.

Sports can often create circumstances which help add intrigue to potential storylines. In that respect the timing was almost perfect, with Stroman leaving Monday’s loss to the Yankees after five inings.

The reason for lifting the 18th round 2009 draft pick, was due to him developing a blister. And while it is claimed he will be back for his next start at the weekend, it will be interesting to keep an eye on developments.

Overall, Stroman is still an important member of the Jays’ rotation and moving him doesn’t seem to make much sense as things stand. As such, it will be up to any team scouting him, to come up with a package that is too good to resist, no matter how important he is.

Next: Jays acquire former Cubs catcher Miguel Montero

First things first, do you believe it’s time for the Jays to rebuild, or are you still holding out hope of a postseason challenge? And if they do rebuild, would you be prepared to trade Stroman? Share your thoughts in the comments section.