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Former Blue Jays Marcus Stroman, Jordan Hicks reportedly gaining steam toward new deals

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Photo credit:David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
1 month ago
It may not be long before a pair of former Toronto Blue Jays pitchers land new contracts with their respective clubs in free agency.
As fans wait for the Blue Jays to supplement their roster with an impact signing or two, starter Marcus Stroman and reliever Jordan Hicks appear to be inching closer to finding new homes for the 2024 season. While nothing’s official yet, the rumour mill has intensified recently involving the right-handed hurlers, suggesting either, or both, could be nearing a resolution.
With that in mind, let’s explore where things stand with the free-agent pitchers.

Marcus Stroman and Yankees approaching deal:

Coming off his second All-Star appearance, Stroman is attempting to maximize a strong 2023 performance with the Chicago Cubs, where he shined to a 2.96 ERA and 3.38 FIP during the first half before an injury-riddled second half led to an 8.63 ERA and 4.51 FIP across just 24.0 innings.
While he’s not the most talented starter available, the 32-year-old has reportedly garnered serious interest from the New York Yankees, who’ve emerged as the front-runner for his services, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Both sides have conducted “productive discussions” recently.
Stroman was linked to the Yankees earlier this week by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, whose report revealed negotiations with the Medford, NY., native originated around GM Meetings in Nashville last November.
Nightengale also added New York has continued exploring the starting pitching market after whiffing on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who chose the Los Angeles Dodgers over them while inking a 12-year, $325-million contract last month.
Signing Stroman would be quite the reversal for New York, especially considering Nightengale’s report from last weekend about the front office not responding to his olive branch about mending their strained relationship.
For those who don’t remember, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Yahoo Sports following the 2019 trade deadline that he didn’t envision Stroman – ultimately dealt to the Mets that season – as part of their post-season rotation. That, of course, sparked a social media war which continued leading up to this off-season.
Nothing is ever finished until someone signs on the dotted line. But as of now, it seems time may be the cure that leads to Stroman’s return to the AL East – an outcome that could result in multiple matchups against the Blue Jays in April.

Market for Jordan Hicks starting to pick up:

Hicks is another name that’s circulated recently, as the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported late Tuesday night. The 27-year-old was acquired by the Blue Jays from the St. Louis Cardinals prior to last season’s trade deadline.
It’s unclear which teams have expressed interest in the hard-throwing righty, although a potential Blue Jays return has long been considered unlikely.
Many have wondered if Hicks desires to start in 2024 rather than continue as a high-leverage reliever. He worked exclusively out of the bullpen a season ago but operated more as a hybrid over his first four big-league campaigns in St. Louis, making eight starts in 2022.
As a starter, the 6-foot-2 hurler could eye a deal similar to Seth Lugo’s two-year, $15-million contract signed with the San Diego Padres last winter, which included an opt-out after Year 1 and allowed him to parlay a promising return to the rotation into a three-year, $45-million deal with the Kansas City Royals.
But considering the Blue Jays – who’ve also shied away from paying top dollar for relief pitchers – can’t provide that assurance, Hicks is probably better served to sign elsewhere.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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