For the first time in a very long time, starting pitching is one area which the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t needed to address this offseason. They have all five starting pitching positions accounted for. Save for a few depth moves, the Jays have to do very little.
With the Blue Jays owning several solid starting pitchers, naturally, the front office has likely fielded a lot of calls this offseason with inquiries into availability of said starting pitchers.
Earlier today, Ross Atkins was asked about the very subject of dealing from the starting rotation. His response was this: “Everyone understands we’re not motivated to move them. It would take a lot”.
This includes somebody like Marcus Stroman; who was either the third or fourth best starter on the Blue Jays in 2016. Aaron Sanchez seems like a player who’s completely untouchable, but the Jays might be willing to listen on Marcus Stroman.
According to Jon Morosi, they definitely don’t want to do a 1-for-1 deal with the Colorado Rockies to send Marcus Stroman for Charlie Blackmon. Can you really blame them?
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 7, 2016
I’m not sure how much of this is just Morosi tabling a potential trade scenario to an executive, and them just refuting it. He’s long suggested the Blue Jays could go after Charlie Blackmon (and Adam Eaton), but there’s never been a secondary report to corroborate those reports.
Whether or not there’s validity to a Blackmon/Stroman trade, it raises an interesting question; would the Blue Jays be willing to trade Marcus Stroman for a position player? More specifically, for an outfielder?
If it’s for Charlie Blackmon, absolutely not. The Colorado Rockies may have a bit of a crowded outfield now that Ian Desmond signed a five-year deal, and the Rockies may be more inclined to make Charlie Blackmon available, but he isn’t enough for Marcus Stroman.
I’m worried that Blackmon may be too much of a product of Coors Field (his career home OPS is .900, compared to a .727 OPS on the road). But more importantly, Stroman is under team control for four more seasons; Blackmon is only under team control for two more seasons.
As badly as the Blue Jays need outfielders, I’m not sure it should be at the cost of creating a hole in the starting rotation. 2016 was a difficult year for Marcus Stroman, and the Blue Jays would undoubtedly be selling low on him.
My thinking is this; if Marcus Stroman is going to be involved in some sort of trade package for an outfielder, make it for someone like Carlos Gonzalez or even Andrew McCutchen. Make it worth giving up four years of control.
Obviously, it would take much more than simply Marcus Stroman to fetch one of those top-tier outfielders … Stroman would probably only be the starting point in those discussions.
As of now, if I were the Blue Jays, I’d have no interest in dealing Marcus Stroman for Charlie Blackmon. But in the coming weeks and months, things may suddenly change. But if there’s one tradeable asset off the Blue Jays roster, it’s certainly Marcus Stroman.