Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman is disappointed with Blue Jays front office

We’re just a few days into Spring Training and we’ve got a Marcus Stroman controversy on our hands. Toronto’s ace, who’s coming off the worst season of his career due largely to injury, has expressed disappointment with the Blue Jays’ front office for not offering him a long-term deal.

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There’s, uh, a lot going on here. Ultimately, Stroman is frustrated with much more than the Jays haven’t offered him a long-term deal.

He says that he should be given a long term deal because nobody else embodies the city of Toronto as much as he does and that his performance should indicate how badly he wants to be here for the long run. But he also went on to criticize the Jays for not having many veteran players in the mix, suggesting that he needs to be the guy to help the young players along, like Mark Beuherle, Jose Bautista, and other did with him. Reading between the lines, Stroman appears to have a genuine frustration with the fact the front office isn’t arming the team with the pieces they need to compete in the American League.

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And then this! Things get a little more wrinkly when Rob Longley reports that sources within the Blue Jays organization are disputing the fact that Stroman hasn’t been offered a long-term deal.

I’m not sure what to make of the long-term deal part. Stroman is saying he hasn’t been offered one, the Jays are saying that isn’t true. Who knows. I mean, I would be shocked if Stroman actually wanted to negotiate a long-term deal after the season he just had. He says Shapiro and Atkins should know by his performance that he wants to be here, but, uh, I don’t think anybody should garner that based on last year’s performance.

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Stroman put up a 5.54 ERA over 19 starts, though, to be fair to him, he struggled with injury and the team’s defence didn’t do him many favours. He’s under control for two more years and then he can hit free agency. Given last year’s showing, Stroman would certainly be negotiating from a difficult place. So are these comments really about not getting a contract offer? Or is this all about something else?

I don’t blame Stroman for being vocal about the direction the organization is headed. I mean, he came up during the wonder days of 2015 and 2016 on a team loaded with incredible players and around an exciting fan atmosphere. Over his last two seasons, the life has been sucked out of the ballpark and, I imagine, the locker room as the Jays have put up back-to-back miserable seasons. Now he’s a veteran on a rebuilding club with no real ideal whether or not the front office wants him around long-term or not.

I think this quote is fairly damning:

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Like I said, he’s got two more control years left, giving the Jays three windows to pull the trigger on a deal. The first would be mid-way through this season, the second would be in the off-season as a one-year rental, and the last would be at the 2020 deadline as a short-season rental. If gets off to a strong start to the season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jays pull the trigger on a deal at that first deadline.

  • PastorofMuppets

    Given that Sanchez is a Boras client likely to go to FA and Stroman has at the very least showed he can eat innings fairly reliably, I was leaning toward extending Stroman and trading Sanchez (if his performance warrants it). Now I’m not sure. I think you have to keep one of them somehow since the closest crop of pitching prospects profile as mid-to-back-end starters at best, and the exciting pitching prospects in Pearson, Pardinho and Kloffenstein may still be a year or two away when Strochez are both free agents. Who knows, maybe the Jays splurge on a big name FA pitcher, but off the top of my head I’m not sure who’s going to be available in the 2020 offseason.

    • The Humungus

      I think Pearson will start this year in AA, and Pardinho is tagged for Lansing (or so the word is), so out of those three, I think Kloffenstein is the only one who might still be a year or two away heading in to 2021.

      But, who knows what he’ll do this year? I’m guessing if he shows good work ethic and good stuff in minor league camp, he’ll get tagged for Van City with Groshans. It would make sense to try to keep those guys together, given their relationship.

      • PastorofMuppets

        That’s fair. I guess I figured with Pearson’s lost year and Pardinho’s age that it’s possible they might take a bit longer, but they have the talent and ability to get here around 2020 or 2021 for sure.

        • The Humungus

          The book on Pardinho is that he’s already got a 4 pitch mix and he can add and subtract speed from his pitches at a major league level. It almost sounds more like they’re hoping he’ll fill out a bit more rather than need a lot more development time. I’m pretty excited about him. He might even wind up getting to the bigs faster than Pearson.

  • Oz Rob

    Lots of noise on Sportsnet that this is Stroman angling for a trade and by doing so in this way is reducing the return the Jays could get. I don’t know…it’s so early in spring training. If he goes out and starts having a monster year, I think the return will be pretty good. It certainly isn’t now because of his performance last year. If he sucks, well his return diminishes. Yet another unfortunate series of events that is outside of the Front Offices control. One gets the feeling they’d like him out of the clubhouse though. Funny, back in 2014 and 2015 he was a bubbly kid feel good story. Now?

    • Prospectplayer

      Stroman ain’t no Bautista just spoiled little boy who cries when he doesn’t get his own way. I don’t think he will ever grow up. His stats over the last two years don’t jump out and say sign my long term. I don’t give a rats ass if he’s been hurt it pro sports it’s what have you done for me lately that gets you paid. So suck it up buttercup put up a good year and we will talk then

  • Hentgen

    Some hockey players have been quoted that their agents don’t tell them anything unless a deal is imminent. Is it possible that Stro’s agent didn’t tell him anything because the terms were too far off for the agent to take it to him? Honest question.