Marcus Stroman has been mentioned as a possible trade target for not only the Astros, but virtually every team in baseball that could be looking for starting pitching help. Houston’s interest in the Blue Jays righty, however, dates back to at least 2017, as Peter Gammons reports (Twitter link) that the Astros heavily evaluated Stroman when exploring pitching targets that summer. Houston “did almost as much work on” Stroman as they did on eventual acquisition Justin Verlander, Gammons writes. Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle addressed Gammons’ tweet and the Astros’ pitching needs as part of a mailbag piece, noting that Stroman’s pitching style doesn’t match Houston’s preferred model for a starter, though the Astros don’t hold hard and fast to that model — case in point, their signing of Wade Miley last winter.
Here’s some more from around the AL West…
- Yordan Alvarez left today’s game after three innings due to what the Astros described as “discomfort” in his left knee. (MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart was among those who reported the news.) The injury isn’t thought to be serious, as Alvarez said he could have continued playing, though manager A.J. Hinch said he removed Alvarez “as a precaution” and “we’ll give him a day or two” to get healed up. Alvarez initially suffered the injury after fouling a ball off his knee on Tuesday. The rookie slugger has been nothing short of incredible during his first 65 Major League plate appearances, with seven homers and a .298/.385/.719 slash line.
- Before Mike Trout signed his record-setting extension with the Angels in March, Phillies fans long wondered if the superstar would one day join the Phils to play closer to his hometown of Millville, New Jersey. As Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller writes, however, Trout appreciates keeping some space between his real-life home and his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. “Obviously, a lot of people from home wanted me to come back east. We were thinking about it, my wife and I,” Trout said. “But it’s perfect to be able to go back in the offseason and have a life, be myself and spend time back in my hometown. It’s always good to go back.” The story is well worth a full read for Trout’s loyalty to the Angels, the connection between Trout and Millville, plus the interesting note of how Bryce Harper got in touch with Trout before signing to learn some details about the Philadelphia area, prior to Harper’s deal with the Phillies.
- The Athletics are known to be considering extensions with several of their players, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds Ramon Laureano’s name to the list of those under consideration for a long-term deal. “Laser Ramon” has already gained attention for his excellent throwing arm, and has also shown some promise at the plate, entering today hitting .261/.306/.440 with 12 home runs over 314 plate appearances. An extension for Laureano would probably be a relatively inexpensive investment for Oakland, certainly in comparison to the much greater dollar figures it would take for the A’s to extend the likes of Matt Chapman or Marcus Semien. But, there’s also no real rush to extend Laureano yet, as the outfielder has yet to amass even a full year of MLB service time.