Yesterday Marcus Stroman had some very candid words about the Blue Jays front office and the fact he didn’t receive a long-term contract this off-season.
Here’s just part of what Stroman had to say this weekend to the media during what was a lengthy 20-minute discussion regarding his thoughts and the Blue Jays.
I want to play here. I’ve been wanting to play here for a long time. I’ve been waiting to sign a long-term deal. I’ve been offered nothing. There’s no one that embodies the city of Toronto more than me. And you’re not going to find guys who want to come in and embody the city of Toronto because it’s just not natural, and I’ve taken a liking to that myself, and that’s been organic and natural, it’s not something I had to do. That’s something I wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to be here.
This kind of emotional outburst isn’t exactly what a young team like the Blue Jays needs before they’ve played even a single spring training game. Toronto went to great lengths this off-season to remove any player they felt wouldn’t promote an ideal environment for their increasingly youthful ball club. Troy Tulowitzki, still owed $38-million, was released because he made it perfectly clear he wanted no part of a rebuild. And the Blue Jays felt it best to remove such a distraction…even if it did cost them an arm and a leg.
Unfortunately, last week Stroman saw 24-year old starting pitcher Luis Severino of the Yankees sign a 4-year, $40-million extension and apparently he feels deserving of one too. Don’t get me wrong, Stroman is an incredible talent, but there are several key factors as to why Severino received a lengthy extension and Stroman did not.
Severino is coming off two straight seasons where he was a Cy Young candidate. On top of that, he doesn’t have any excessive attitude. Stroman on the other hand just had the worst season of his career and is constantly making the sort of comments that leave the Blue Jays front office questioning whether it even makes sense to lock-up such an emotional player.
What Stroman needs to realize is when you’re coming off a year where you went 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA, the last thing in the world you need to be concerned about is the length of your contract. It’s wonderful that Stroman loves Toronto and Canada as much as he does, but he should understand that’s not nearly enough to garner a long-term contract well in advance of him hitting free agency.
What the Blue Jays need from Stroman is for him to consistently pitch like he did in 2017. It also wouldn’t hurt if he tried his best not to say the kind of things that make most teams cringe. Stroman and the Blue Jays could be a match made in heaven, but for that to happen, it has to start with Stroman focusing on his game, rather than what he is or isn’t getting from the Blue Jays.