Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman has looked like a surefire trade candidate for a while. Even he expects to move before the July 31 trade deadline, having said after his Wednesday start – possibly his last with the Blue Jays – “There’s been no willingness from the front office to sign me, so I’ve just kind of come to terms with it and I’m ready to dominate, wherever that may be, absolutely dominate.”
Now, though, there are conflicting reports on whether Toronto is gearing up to part with Stroman, who’s earning $7.4MM this season and still has another year of arbitration control left. While Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Stroman is “generally viewed within the industry as the most likely top starter to be traded,” Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets that the Blue Jays have informed teams they may extend the 28-year-old instead of moving him. As Martino notes, though, it may be a negotiating ploy on the part of Toronto, which – as Stroman said – hasn’t shown any real desire to commit to him for the long haul. It’s hard to believe the team will drastically change course on the cusp of the deadline.
The division-rival Yankees are among an array of contenders who have been connected to Stroman of late, but despite the problems in their rotation, a deal doesn’t look particularly likely to come together. New York hasn’t pursued Stroman as ardently as it went after one of his former teammates – fellow starter J.A. Happ – last year, according to Sherman, who reports the Yankees aren’t the perceived front-runners for Stroman right now. The club did land Happ, whom it then wound up re-signing to a two-year, $34MM contract in free agency, but the left-hander has fallen way short of expectations this season. Happ’s struggles are a key reason the league-leading Yankees are in the market for a high-end starter this summer.