As those who closely follow the majors know, Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman may not be for long for Toronto. Not only are the Blue Jays rebuilding and out of contention, but Stroman’s team control is dwindling, making him a logical trade chip leading up to the July 31 deadline.
The 28-year-old Stroman discussed his future with Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com and other reporters Tuesday, saying the Jays have not pursued a contract extension. As such, even though Stroman loves Toronto and “everything about” Canada, he realizes his time there may be winding down.
“It doesn’t seem like I’m going to be signed here to a long-term deal. It’s just something you have to come to terms with,” Stroman said.
Stroman has been a Blue Jay since they chose him 22nd in the 2012 draft. The 5-foot-8 hurler ascended to the majors in 2014 and has since been one of the faces of the Toronto franchise. Stroman owns a 3.83 ERA/3.62 FIP with 7.22 K/9 and 2.56 BB/9 in 752 2/3 innings dating back to his debut. While he’s not a strikeout pitcher, Stroman’s a worm-burning wizard whose groundball rate – 59.2 percent – ranks second among starters since he initially came up.
So far in 2019, which may go down as his last year in Toronto, Stroman’s on pace for one of his best seasons. After allowing three earned runs in seven innings during a loss to the Angels on Tuesday, Stroman carries a stellar 3.23 ERA/3.83 FIP with 6.75 K/9, 2.76 BB/9 and a 58 percent grounder rate through 94 2/3 innings.
The production Stroman has posted this season is far better than what he managed during a truncated 2018, when multiple injuries limited him to 102 1/3 frames, and will only increase his appeal going up to the deadline. Over the next month-plus, plenty of teams figure to push for Stroman, who’s on a reasonable $7.4MM salary and eligible for arbitration for one more year.