Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman has come to terms with the fact that he’s a near-certainty to be traded and told reporters this week that he’s not expecting the team to make any final efforts to sign him long-term (link via Bill Ladson of MLB.com). Though he tries not to focus on trade rumblings, Stroman acknowledged that he can’t avoid all of the talk, implying that as a New York native, the frequent connections between him and the Yankees have been on his radar. “I’m from New York and I’m a New York boy,” said Stroman. “That kind of says everything for itself.” Stroman noted that he loves pitching in the spotlight of Yankee Stadium, even if the Yankees’ lineup tends to be “brutal” for opposing pitchers. Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling also has comments from Stroman on the possibility of a trade and the manner in which he tries to tune out trade chatter, knowing it’s not something he can control. In 100 2/3 innings this season, Stroman has posted a tidy 3.04 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9 and a 57.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s earning $7.4MM in 2019 and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
More out of Toronto…
- Closer Ken Giles came to the Blue Jays with a questionable clubhouse reputation, but The Athletic’s John Lott writes (subscription required) that Giles has quickly changed the narrative, emerging as a leader and mentor to less-experienced pitchers. First-year manager Charlie Montoyo even acknowledged a bit of surprise regarding Giles’ demeanor, telling Lott: “You gotta give him all the credit. He’ll do anything for the team. I didn’t know he was like that. I saw what you guys saw from Houston and all that stuff.” Freddy Galvis, who was on the Phillies when Giles made his MLB debut there, suggested that while he never had an issue with Giles, it’s also obvious that the right-hander has matured since they were last teammates. Giles acknowledges that fatherhood, among other factors, has changed his perspective on life. The closer plainly states that he loves it in Toronto and would prefer to stay there, but he’s also keenly aware that a trade is not only possible but likely. Giles, who is controlled through the 2020 season, has a 1.33 ERA and a 47-to-8 K/BB ratio through 27 innings with the Blue Jays so far in 2019.
- Zwelling also takes a close look at what has been a near-seamless transition to left field for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The converted infielder has played just 28 MLB games there (plus another seven in the minors) but already looks comfortable in his new environs. Gurriel has racked up five outfield assists through just 241 innings while impressing the coaching staff and teammates alike with his outfield play. “Lourdes is unreal out there,” said Stroman of his teammate. “Man, I can’t put it into words. He looks like he’s been playing left field for years. It’s pretty shocking. And it’s exciting.” Meanwhile, Gurriel has somewhat quietly been on a tear at the plate as well. Since being recalled from Triple-A on May 24, he’s raked at a .330/.372/.679 clip with 10 homers, seven doubles and a triple in 121 plate appearances.