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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Where do Stroman and Sanchez fit in Toronto’s long-term plans?

It wasn’t that long ago when Aaron Sanchez was a part of a three-headed pitching monster in Lansing, as Sanchez, Nicolino, and Syndergaard dominated Low-A ball in the Midwest League back in 2012. And while the three-headed monster was making noise in Michigan’s capital like some 2K12 ‘Ho Hey’ folk rock band, Marcus Stroman, who was drafted 22nd overall in the 2012 draft out of Duke, spent time with the Vancouver C’s and New Hampshire Fisher Cats that same summer. At that time, the pitching future was looking about as bright as the hitting future looks right about now with Vladdy close to setting foot on the Rogers carpet.

Sanchez, who was drafted 34th overall in 2010, was viewed as the real pitching gem of the Lansing trio after Alex Anthopoulos decided to trade Syndergaard (plus Travis d’Arnaud) to the Mets for R.A. Dickey. Anthopoulos, as we all know, then dipped into Miami’s salary dump and traded Nicolino, some other magic beans, Adeiny Hechavarría, and some roster guys for Buehrle, Reyes, Buck, some Johnson thing, and some other guy who was really shitty at every position. Honestly, I forgot just how awkward that Miami trade was until I started to type up some kind of coherent sentence about it.

Now, the reason I’m going on about all this stuff, which was a pile of yesterdays ago, is because the organization decided to let all the money ride on Stroman and Sanchez to be the future front-end starters that would lead the Jays, but both have had their ups and downs. And now here we are in the future and both of these pitchers are most likely not going to be a part of the organization in the Vladdy years to come.

Both Stroman and Sanchez, who are 2021 free-agents-to-be, are looking to bounce back in 2019 and show all the GMs in the league that they are worth all those dollar-dollar bills that are unlikely to come out of Rogers’ pocket. And I’m not saying this to spark some kind of Rogers is cheap howl because the money is going to be there to offer extensions to both of these pitchers if they really want to.

I personally think that it seems like it will be easier for the Jays to trade them than it will be to offer any long-term deals though, especially considering that one of them is represented by Scotty Boras and the other has already had arbitration issues. Let’s just hope that they can stay healthy and pitch well moving forward, amirite? Fingers big-time-effing crossed here folks.

I mean, in a perfect world where the air smells like bacon and the water from the tap turns to beer, Stroman and Sanchez will absolutely dominate on the mound in 2019 and the front office will lock up both pitchers to multi-year extensions. And if the organization doesn’t lock them up in this Ron Swanson and Homer Simpson utopia, the Jays will get a king’s ransom for both pitchers come July or next offseason.

The truth is that no one knows how the Stroman and Sanchez story will end in Toronto even though everyone has their what-the-Jays-should-do opinions to get some clicks and feed the content machine. Atkins is going to have to place his Stroman and Sanchez chips on the ol’ roulette table with the hope that the little white ball drops in his favour for whatever play he has up his sleeve.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing where the roulette ball will land, which we all witnessed in the Josh Donaldson saga that led to a PR nightmare. But, that’s what happens in life because there is no crystal ball that reveals the dead-arm/calf-explosion future and there is no time machine that allows Shapiro and Atkins to do it all over again. Atkins was as crystally clear as crystal comes the other night when he made his candid comments about Tulo and the possibility of trading Stroman and Sanchez.

Now, it’s pretty hard to imagine that the Jays will receive any kind of offer that makes this happen right now, so I’m guessing that Atkins is just tossing it out there for the sake of the ‘how much would you love to have either guy’ toss.

Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman had important roles in the 2015 and ’16 runs and since then, both of these pitchers have failed to live up to their prospect-y hype. I’m not shitting on them because blisters, suitcases, and more blisters happen in life. But, holy shit do both of these pitchers need to be good this year.

The fact is that if the Jays don’t trade Stroman or Sanchez this offseason (which I doubt they will), Atkins and company have to hope that the two don’t turn down Josh Donaldson road because Josh Donaldson road leads to Merryweather land and Merryweather land isn’t really that merry at all.

Since the Jays aren’t actual contenders, even though the American League 2nd Wild Card spot will be a dogshit race of dogshit, the organization should probably consider moving Stroman now if the right offer presents itself. Sanchez is a totally different story though because his value can’t get any lower than it currently is.

It seems just like yesterday that we were all gushing over Stroman and Sanchez while they were in the farm system. And now it’s starting to look like neither of them will end up being a part of the ’20, ’21, ’22 fun to come. Let’s just hope that when the time comes to trade both of these homegrown pitchers that the Jays can get some prospect gold in return, or near-ready MLB somethings that will help the future that is still a pile of tomorrows away.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Not trading Stroman and Sanchez would be a bad use of assets. The Jays have two years of team control over both, and that has little to no value to the Blue Jays who won’t be competitive in that timeframe. That can be traded for assets that will have value in three years and beyond. If Stroman and Sanchez want to return to Toronto in two years they are able through free agency. Retaining them when they have no value makes them no more likely to be here when it matters. This is what a rebuild is.

  • Jroc

    If they play well they could lead to a haul at the deadline, if they don’t play well than they have no value anyways. These are the types of pitchers the blue Jays should be targeting from other teams as buy low candidates.

  • TGreg

    The Reds have been eyeing Stroman for a couple of seasons now and are looking for controllable SPs this offseason … I say work something out to get Trammell back to be our long term CF, plus maybe a low level SP

    • Jroc

      They are looking for CF and SP. They would not trade a CF prospect. Maybe we could have a good old fashioned 3 team trade? Pillar and stroman to Reds, Gwinnett to third team who gives us all the prospects?
      All of them, each and every prospect.