The Braves and Blue Jays haven’t had any discussions about Marcus Stroman, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). While Stroman would be a fit on at least half the teams in the league, Atlanta stands out as a natural landing spot due to both the Braves’ talented but generally inexperienced rotation, and the connection between Stroman and Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos (who had the same job in Toronto from 2009-15). While a lack of talks to this point doesn’t mean that Stroman couldn’t eventually become a Braves target, Atlanta has been linked to other pitchers such as Madison Bumgarner or Zack Wheeler, and could simply prefer one of those players (or another arm altogether) to Stroman.
More from the NL East…
- The Phillies focused heavily on position-player additions during their splashy offseason, but a lack of focus on the rotation looks to now be a mistake, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber writes. The team’s starters have delivered middling-to-mediocre results all season, and depth has now become a particular issue given Jake Arrieta’s injury concerns. While the Phils could still make a move to acquire a starting pitcher (or two) at the deadline, such a move will cost the club more prospects from a system that has already been thinned out by other trades. As Lauber notes, the Phillies also haven’t done a great job of developing their own pitchers over the last four years, with Aaron Nola standing out as the last success story.
- Trades and trade rumors come with the territory for any baseball player, particularly at this time of year. This being said, there’s an obvious personal toll that comes with knowing one could soon to be moved to another team on another city, and it’s naturally hard to entirely block out all of the speculation. “You see a couple things and that’s all it takes for your brain to run wild a little bit with some of that stuff,” Nationals closer Sean Doolittle told NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas about some early-season rumors buzzing that the Nats could start trading Doolittle and other veterans if the team continued to struggle. Doolittle is no stranger to midseason deals, of course, as it was almost exactly two years ago that he came to D.C. as part of a very notable five-player trade with the Athletics. Needless to say, the Nats’ re-emergence back into the postseason race has ended talk of the club being deadline sellers, which is good news for Doolittle given how he and his wife quickly grew to love being part of the Nationals family. “I will say it’s tough because you don’t have control over [a trade],” Doolittle said. “For some people, it might be easy to say, ’Hey, I’m not going to think about it because I can’t control it.’ At the same time, that’s why it’s a little disconcerting, is you don’t have control over it. After going through it once before, it’s not as scary as maybe it was. I don’t know. I really want to be here. I like it here.”