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Good lord, please don’t trade Marcus Stroman to the Yankees

After yet another solid start that went to waste due to the Blue Jays completely inept offence, Marcus Stroman spoke to a media scrum who peppered him with questions about his future with the organization. Laura Armstrong has a thread about it here.

I think, for the most part, fans are well aware than Stroman is going to be traded. We might not like it and we might think it’s best to extend him but deep down we know a trade is coming. Stroman himself also seems to be ready for the inevitable…

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It doesn’t seem like I’m going to be signed here to a longterm deal so it’s something that you kind of have to come to terms with.

So, well, that’s kinda depressing. And to add insult to injury, the Yankees are one of the major suitors for Stroman, because of course they are. Joel Sherman wrote in the New York Post that, based on what he thinks the Yankees want, Stroman would be their No. 1 target…

1. Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays. He has by far the best groundball rate in the AL, lots of history in the AL East and is controlled through next year. But he is a not very big righty (built like Gray) with a pedestrian strikeout rate.

This isn’t really breaking news or anything. Thomas wrote a few weeks ago that the Yankees had interest in Stroman, so this is basically just adding fuel to a fire that already exists. The point I want to hammer across here is that the Blue Jays dealing Stroman to the Yankees would be a disaster. And no, not because of the whole you can’t trade in the division thing, but because Yankees GM Brian Cashman seldom loses trades.

Ross Atkins dealt with Cashman last year, sending J.A. Happ, arguably the best rental starter on the trade market, to the Yankees in exchange for Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury. At this moment, that appears to be a wildly underwhelming return for Happ, who was excellent down the stretch for New York. For the sake of comparison, the Rays sent Nathan Eovaldi, the other good rental starter last year, to Boston and got back Jalen Beeks, who has a 2.73 ERA over the course of 56 innings for the Rays this year.

Looking back through Cashman’s history, you’ll see a lot more instances in which he won a trade than instances in which he lost one. Pinstripe Alley did an article a couple of years ago looking at the best and worst of Cashman and the three bad deals they came up with, uh, aren’t even that bad.

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The inevitable play here seems to be dealing Stroman for some kind of package involving Clint Fraizer, a struggling prospect who was originally drafted by the Shapiro Crew in Cleveland with the fifth-overall pick in 2013, and another arm in New York’s system.

This is something the front office can’t afford to fuck up. They’re ultimately choosing to take the mystery box in the mystery box and the boat scenario here, betting that prospects with control and open money are better than the known commodity in Stroman. I don’t like it, but I can see the logic. Stroman is the team’s best trade asset, but he’s also their best pitcher on a rotation that’s completely up in the air right now.

If you’re going to take the mystery box, you had better be damn sure the prize is better than the boat. Again, knowing Cashman’s history, it’s really, really hard to imagine the Jays coming out on top of a Stroman to New York trade.

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  • dolsh

    I think I’d be ok with Stroman for Frazier + right now. He’d be near the top of our leaderboards offensively already, and fits the age the team is looking for.

  • Andy Z

    I think this situation is very different from the Happ trade, in that the Jays are not in MUST TRADE mode with Stroman. Certainly, his value is likely greatest now with the additional year of control remaining for 2020, but the Jays are in a position where they can set a price for him. They don’t have to take the best offer or lose him for nothing as was the case with Happ. I think there will be other teams who are better able to put together a competitive package for Stro. TB, ATL, HOU, LA, and MIN all have top-10 farm systems, and could all use an upgrade to their rotations. The Jays don’t have to take on the NYY castoffs this time around.

  • TomHorn

    JA Happ wasnt the best rental pitcher last year and the Yankees were already in the Playoffs and he got bombed in his only start in the Playoffs but i guess that is a win for Cashman. Cant see the Jays trading Stroman to the Yankees anyway.