Last off-season, Ross Atkins pulled-off three trades that one could argue were all winners for the Blue Jays. In exchange for two mediocre prospects and Dominic Leone, he managed to acquire a starting right-fielder (Randal Grichuk), a top-notch utility infielder (Aledmys Diaz), and Yangervis Solarte who for a time filled-in reasonably well for the oft injured Josh Donaldson at 3rd base.
For Atkins, last winter his top priority was finding a replacement for Jose Bautista in right field and to shore up an infield plagued by injuries. He accomplished both. And did so without having to part with much. Now that things are sorted out with their infield and situation out in right, Atkins is faced with several new challenges. The most pressing of which having to do with Toronto’s lack of starting pitchers.
With an abundance of quality infielders in both the minors and big leagues, Atkins will certainly look to use that to his advantage on the trade front. After the season Diaz had, it sure would be tough to see him go. Why not hold onto Diaz so that he can assume the role of utility infielder behind starters Troy Tulowitzki, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Lourdes Gurriel. Toronto can then explore the option of moving Brandon Drury and/or Devon Travis to alleviate their backlog of infielders.
Some people think the Blue Jays would be nuts to trade a player as important to them as Marcus Stroman. I’m not so sure about that…please hear me out. Despite having an off year, his trade value is still quite high. And when healthy, he remains one of the better pitchers in the American League. Much like the Blue Jays were able to exchange one elite pitcher, Roberto Osuna, for three lesser, yet still talented pitchers, perhaps they could pull-off a similar move for Stroman. That might be the best and easiest way to replenish a roster seriously lacking in quality arms.
Considering how much a team like Colorado parted with for a middle reliever like Seunghwan Oh, could you imagine what they’d pony-up for a quality starter like Stroman. And it isn’t just the Rockies who’d be comfortable giving up a boatload for Stroman. In the ultra-tight National League, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, St.Louis, the Cubs, and Dodgers would all be willing to make sizeable offers for Toronto’s 27-year old starter.