0
Photo Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

What does a realistic Stroman trade look like?

As the favourite time of the year for transaction lovers approaches, all Blue Jays fans have to look forward to is guessing what would players are going to come into the system as the roster continues to be sold off.

One of their major pieces is a rare homegrown talent that has been heralded as part of their recent success and has been there through it all. A significant part in the two years of playoffs that this team finally saw, Marcus Stroman’s days as a member of the Jays are slowing counting down.

Whether or not fans agree about the concept of trading their current ace, there is simply too much smoke and rumours clouding up Toronto for there not to be a likely trade before the July 31 trade deadline. All signs are pointing to Stroman finishing his 2019 with a different franchise.

With an eye towards the future, the return for the 28-year-old pitcher will be mostly young players, whether that be players with major-league experience or just coming out of their teenage years and will be given all the stress and hope of a large-market franchise instilling their undying want of some purposeful baseball — but either are okay.

Teenager or not, Toronto will try to maximize Stroman’s value and get as much as possible in return for the pitcher. But it’s truly difficult to know the value of players around the league and what could be a verified realistic trade for Stroman — until someone much smarter than me was able to put some numbers together and make a whole website surrounding that concept.

The beautiful and insane time-waster website known as Baseball Trade Values can give fans a rough estimate as to what value each player in both the major and minor leagues. Founded by John Bitzer, they have gone over every trade by every major league team and have made their current valuation model based on that. Taking into consideration the player’s on-field value and their current contract/service time, they come up with a high, low, and median value. Those are translated into “MTV” which is considered a dollar value for those players. I have probably explained that horribly, but just visit the site yourself and play around with their trade simulator.

Using that simulator and a rough assumption as to what the Blue Jays organization would want back in a trade involving Stroman, here are some realistic (proven with numbers) trades with teams that have been reportedly in on Stroman.

For all of the valuation numbers, I have used the median value provided by baseballtradevalues.com

Yankees

To New York MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
OF Clint Frazier 19.4
RHP Clarke Schmidt 4.8 24.2

Of course the first team, and most likely considering the recent rumours, are the Yankees. As much as it might be painful seeing Stroman in the pinstripes, they have a fairly hefty pool of prospects that Toronto is likely considering right now.

Another player that has been linked in trades around the league is 24-year-old outfielder Clint Frazier. Although the reports have been that the Yankees won’t trade him away for a pitcher with only two years of team control left, BTV says it fits, so it fits.

Frazier has been up and down through Triple-A and in the Yankees’ lineup, but his first real lengthy visit in the majors in his career and posting a 117 wRC+, isn’t something to necessarily scoff at.

Clarke Schmidt, 23, is a right-handed starter that is currently in High-A and is posting a 2.76 FIP and 9.62 K/9 rate through 33.2 innings. He’s not a high-end pitching prospect, but a serviceable arm that the Jays could no doubt use in their system.

To New York MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
RHP Deivi Garcia 24.0
RHP Albert Abreu 3.8 27.8

Going from a somewhat realistic trade, to one that might not be quite in the realm of possibility — but the site says it’s possible — sees the Yankees give up a hyped-up pitching prospect with heaps of potential and a solid prospect on top of that.

Deivi Garcia has had a meteoric rise up through the Yankees system and specifically the last two years. Splitting his 2018 in between Class-A, High-A, and a brief appearance in Double-A as a 19-year-old, while keeping a high strikeout rate and minimal ERA is all you really have to know. He was just a highlight in the 2019 Futures Game and is currently still crushing Double-A with a 14.29 K/9 (!) and a 2.18 FIP — Garcia might be out of Toronto’s league.

To even up the trade, 23-year-old Albert Abreu would be coming to Toronto as well. Another depth prospect arm, Abreu doesn’t have eye-bulging stats or production, but could just be an addition in the same realm as the other pitchers that the Jays currently have in their system.

Garcia’s value around the trade circles has surely gone up since the Futures Game and consistent domination in the minors for the past couple of seasons, but he would instantly make Jays fans feel alright with giving up one of their best pitchers in recent memory.

But knowing how Cashman has recently been able to keep the Yankees as one of the best teams in baseball by winning almost every trade he makes, both of these simulations feel wrong.

Twins

To Minnesota MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
RHP Brusdar Graterol 25.5
LHP Stephen Gonsalves 3.6 29.1

Moving onto another team that has been reportedly searching for a starter as they try to secure their division title, the Minnesota Twins have a lot of just meh prospects that won’t really make you excited, but there is some value there.

Especially with really their best pitching prospect in the system, 20-year-old Brusdar Graterol has been keeping it steady in Double-A this season. A middling strikeout rate of 8.69 K/9, he has been preventing the runs with a very similar aspect of proficiency as Stroman, with a 52.1 groundball percentage and a 1.89 ERA.

25-year-old lefty Stephen Gonsalves is someone that the Jays have reportedly been interested in — spotted at a recent Triple-A game to scout Gonsalves and other Twins prospects. He made his major-league debut last season but suffered an elbow injury in May this year and has been out since. During his time with the Twins, he walked more than he struck out and carried a 5.72 FIP through 24.2 innings and four starts. Certainly not an arm to get excited about, but as a little sweetener next to Graterol, there’s nothing to really complain about.

To Minnesota MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
1B Brent Rooker 9.2
RHP Jhoan Duran 8.0
RHP Jordan Balazovic 5.0
OF Gilberto Celestino 2.7 24.9

The “throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks” method of a trade selling off one of your best trade chips, this is one where no one really excites fans but there is certainly some depth here.

Both Brent Rooker, 24, and Jhoan Duran, 21, have been in trade talks as the Twins continue their search to bolster up their hopeful rotation. Rooker currently has a .956 OPS in Triple-A and is walking 13.2 percent of the time. His first season just a step away from the majors, he could be a quick turnaround target for Toronto if they decide to move on from Justin Smoak as well, but that is a different discussion.

Duran is a starter that can be seen as high-potential, but still a way to go. In High-A this season, he has a 3.13 FIP and a 11.32 K/9 in 12 starts spread out across 62 innings. Adding to the theme of this package, Duran would be a solid prospect to get in return, but it’s more about quantity than high quality at this point.

While trading away Stroman could be hard for the fanbase, acquiring a 20-year-old starter from Mississauga could certainly land Toronto into some good graces, bringing back a local kid. Jordan Balazovic, a fifth-round pick out of high school in 2016, is currently making his mark in his first season in High-A — set to quickly rise in the next few years of development.

The final throw-in in this bounty is outfielder Gilberto Celestino. At just 20-years-old, he was part of the Ryan Pressly trade at last year’s deadline and seems out of touch ever since he arrived in the Twins system. Spending all of 2019 so far at Class-A, his sub-.700 OPS isn’t something to get too hyped-up about.

This would be about the amount of players that could seem reasonable for Toronto — selling it as bolstering up the prospect pool with some high-potential players that can match-up with their desired timeline.

Reds

To Cincinnati  MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
RHP Tony Santillan 16.5
RHP Vladimir Gutierrez 3.9
OF Jose Siri 9.4 29.8

Although the Yankees and Twins are the two most likely destinations for Stroman, the playoff-hopeful Reds have been reported earlier in the season as a team looking to add to their rotation.

Stroman would certainly do that for them and it would just cost a few fairly decent prospects that they have. Righty Tony Santillan, 22, is in his second year at Double-A and has seen some decline in his play from his debut season in 2018. Through 17 starts and 83.2 innings, the 2015 second-round pick has a 8.07 K/9, while also a 4.52 BB/9 and a 4.38 FIP. Not the best for what you want in a pitching prospect, but he holds value and has time to grow.

The other pitcher in this hypothetical deal would be the second Vladimir Gu. in Toronto. Gutierrez, 23, has been promoted with each season, from High-A in 2017 to Triple-A in 2019, where he currently has a 5.96 FIP and a low strikeout rate, but he wouldn’t really be the prime player in this deal.

Adding a bat to this deal is always more exciting and outfielder Jose Siri, 23, is certainly that. His numbers don’t necessarily impress, a 110 wRC+ in Double-A this year, but the Jays are in desperate need someone that resembles a potential outfielder prospect and Siri would be their best bet if they were to acquire him.

Not really the best package, but this is another variation of the value that Stroman has through the league — don’t be surprised if the return is just no-name prospects.

Padres

To San Diego MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
RHP Luis Patino 32.6 32.6

The best prospect system in baseball and a team that actually spent money over the winter to get better, the San Diego Padres find themselves sniffing at a playoff spot and need their rotation to get vastly better. They’ve been weakly linked to Stroman early in the season, but it’s always fun to think of the high-end prospects coming to Toronto.

Luis Patino is that type of prospect and definitely the best player among all these trade offers. Carrying a higher value than Stroman currently does, Patino shone in the Futures Game like Garcia did, but he specifically stole the show. Putting his mechanics to work, he was able to get people excited about the future of the Padres rotation with him, Gore, and Paddack. So San Diego could at least give one of them to Toronto for an upper-rotation player right now…maybe.

Again, this isn’t realistic, since Patino’s value most likely has risen and there is no way a team like the Padres with a lot of attention paid on their future core would simply hand an exciting prospect over to Toronto. We can dream though.

To San Diego MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
1B Josh Naylor 15.8
RHP Michel Baez 12.8 28.6

Similar to the trade involving Jordan Balazovic with the Twins, acquiring Canadian Josh Naylor would certainly make for a good PR move after trading away a widely-loved player like Stroman.

The 22-year-old made his major league debut against the Jays earlier this season has been inconsistent ever since. Posting a lowly 58 wRC+ through 101 major-league plate appearances isn’t enough of a sample to write him off, especially with his .916 OPS in Triple-A this season as well. He’s a power bat that keeps his strikeout rate down around the same rate that he walks.

In addition to Naylor, a 6-foot-8 23-year-old reliever named Michel Baez would be coming to Toronto as well. He’s not the flashy starting prospect that fans want, but with his impressive 13.92 K/9 and 2.53 ERA, while still battling a .367 BABIP is still valuable and the numbers reflect that.

This certainly wouldn’t be the most exciting package, but two somewhat equal prospects that could add to where the Jays are already somewhat strong when it comes to positions, it might not be the smartest. But hey, Canadian!

To San Diego MTV ($) Total
RHP Marcus Stroman 26.8 26.8
To Toronto
LHP Adrian Morejon 20.6
RHP Cal Quantrill 5.6 26.8

Since the Padres have such a large prospect system, it just makes sense to include some names that would be coming to the Jays and seeing how much value they hold.

20-year-old Adrian Morejon has shown heaps of potential and is most likely considered among those other top pitching prospects the Padres have. The lefty has started a total of 17 games in Double-A and has kept a 11.25 K/9 rate though his 32 innings. He would be that key name that you want coming back for Stroman. Not necessarily a guarantee to make a massive impact since he’s so young, but clearly a high-ceiling type of acquisition.

Losing a lot of value as of late, but could be seen as a savvy move by some, (another Canadian) Cal Quantrill, 24, has made seen starts for the Padres this season and has a middling strikeout and walk rate, but his 4.76 FIP would still be an improvement on whatever the Jays rotation looks like after the deadline.

This trade just feels somewhat right. Acquiring a pitcher for the future in Morejon, still carrying loads of hype and potential, while also getting someone fans can watch immediately and is still young enough to dream of what is to come. Whether or not the Padres would do this, is a mystery.


It feels wrong rosterbating over what could be the return on Stroman, especially at what some of these deals could potentially look like. All I know is that the valuations provided by Baseball Trade Values seem low, considering what type of names could come in exchange for Stroman. Maybe that’s just the prospect hype talking, but it’s more likely that the Jays will lose this deal and come back empty handed in a couple years.

Might be pessimistic, but considering what the other high-potential trades of big names have turned into, there’s not a lot of hope there.

Trading away your best player is never easy, but hopefully this clears the grey picture of what numbers say could be possible returns for Stroman. It’s going to end up being Clint Frazier for Stroman and Ken Giles, isn’t it?