Right-hander Marcus Stroman expressed frustration toward the Blue Jays on Sunday for not offering him a contract extension during the offseason. However, Stroman’s claim was refuted by an industry source, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Whether or not the team did submit an offer(s), no deal has come to fruition, leaving Stroman in his penultimate year of club control. While Stroman generally thrived in Toronto from 2014-17, last season was a different story as the 27-year-old battled injuries and a downturn in production. This offseason may not have been the ideal for Stroman to ink an extension, then, though he insisted Sunday he “embodies the city of Toronto” more than anyone and wants to be there “for a long time.”
Here’s more on the game’s East divisions:
- Philadelphia has been chasing free agent Manny Machado for months, but if the team doesn’t sign him, it appears it’ll go forward with Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery at third base. The Phillies “seem cool” on the possibility of signing Mike Moustakas or another non-Machado free agent to man the position, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes. The club’s of the belief that Franco and Kingery are “two really good options,” according to general manager Matt Klentak. The 26-year-old Franco wasn’t much different offensively than Moustakas in 2018, though the latter trumped the former as a defender. Kingery had a disastrous rookie season at the plate, but the Phillies remain high on the 24-year-old, whom they signed to a long-term deal last March before he ever accrued a major league at-bat.
- Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez is only a year removed from a protracted trip to free agency – one that culminated in late February with a five-year, $110MM guarantee. While the open market has frustrated many players over the past 16 months, Martinez may head back to free agency as early as next winter if he opts out of his contract after the season. The 31-year-old said Sunday that the cases of still-unemployed superstars Machado and Bryce Harper won’t play much of a role in his forthcoming decision, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. “At the end of the day, I know my value and I know what I bring to the table,” said Martinez – who, like Harper, is a Scott Boras client. “I really don’t look at that. I really judge me on me.” Regardless of whether Martinez does vacate his current contract next offseason, the offensive dynamo noted he’d “love” to continue his career in Boston, which he helped lead to a World Series title in 2018.
- First baseman Peter Alonso, MLB.com’s 51st-ranked prospect, may be able to help the Mets as early as Opening Day, though whether he’ll make the team’s roster is in question. The Mets would gain an extra year of control over Alonso, 24, by keeping him in the minors until at least mid-April, after all. However, New York – led by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen – insists having seven years of control over Alonso instead of six won’t factor into whether he cracks its season-opening roster in 2019, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com relays. “Our management’s going to fight for [Alonso],” said manager Mickey Callaway. “I think Brodie’s made it clear that he’s a players’ guy. And if he deserves it, he’s going to be on the team.” The main player standing in Alonso’s way appears to be Todd Frazier – the Mets’ projected starter at first – but the 33-year-old is coming off a poor year. Alonso, on the other hand, was highly productive in Double-A and Triple-A stints last season.