Looking back over the 41 seasons that the Blue Jays have been around, it becomes pretty clear that pitchers as talented as Marcus Stroman don’t come around all that often. Other than Dave Stieb, Roy Halladay, Jimmy Key, Pat Hentgen, Juan Guzman, and Aaron Sanchez, the Blue Jays haven’t developed any other starting pitchers that were as good as Stroman.
Quality starting pitching might just be the hardest thing to come by in baseball, and Toronto has the good fortune of having two of the best young starters in the game. So why is it that we’ve been hearing all these rumours of the Blue Jays possibly trading Stroman?
Unless a team comes around and makes an offer for Stroman that completely knocks Toronto’s socks off, there is no reason to seriously consider moving such a key player. Some believe the Blue Jays should sell high, at a time when Stroman is on top of his game. But who’s to say he won’t just keep getting better, or, at the very least, remain as good as he is. Nothing that we’ve seen from Stroman indicates that his play will slip anytime soon. Toronto is going to need him in the coming years, that is unless people want a similar rotation to what the Blue Jays had back in the day with Roy Halladay. When the rotation consisted of Halladay and maybe one other decent pitcher.
Say Toronto were to trade Stroman, what five pitchers make up the rotation next year? Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano become free agents after this season, and considering how poorly they’ve been pitching, the likelihood of Toronto bringing either of them back is slim to none. That leaves a 35-year old J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez as the only pitchers pretty much guaranteed to be part of the rotation in 2018. And with the Joe Biagini experiment as a starter not going as well as the Blue Jays had hoped, serious questions remain as to whether he or any of the other pitchers in the organization can adequately handle starting duties over an entire season.
With no Stroman in the Blue Jays rotation, Toronto would likely be forced to sign a free agent this off-season. The problem with that is said pitcher would come with a much higher price tag than that of Stroman, and more than likely be nowhere near as good a player.
Unless Stroman’s play drops off considerably in the coming years, the chances are what Toronto would get for him now is pretty similar to what they’d be able to receive 2-3 years down the road as he creeps closer and closer to becoming a free agent. Not since back when Roy Halladay was with the Blue Jays has Toronto had a starting pitcher as important to this team as Stroman. Which is why it’s going to take a lot more than one lousy half season for this organization to ever seriously consider moving such a special player like him.