July 30, 2019

The Stro-Show heads to New York

One of the longest tenured Toronto Blue Jays in pitching ace Marcus Stroman is on his way to New York. The Blue Jays traded him to the Mets on Sunday for LHP Anthony Kay and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson. Just like that a fan favourite and social media loving Stroman is packing his bags and heading to his hometown of New York. 

Now before the trade was even announced Blue Jays fans were already in full pitchfork mode, ready to storm the front office. No matter what the return, when it is a fan favourite (for most of the fans) then there will be backlash. It came quickly in waves when the trade was announced, all over social media many fans were bashing head office for the return and questioning why give up your ace when you will need pitching in the future. 

I do not understand the argument here. Stroman is young at 28, currently but by the time the Jays will be ready to compete he will be in his 30s maybe even mid-30s depending on how long this rebuild takes. So why hang onto someone that is not in the future plans? Bringing in younger pitching options that can grow with the team is not the worst idea ever created but we all knew the majority of the fan base would not be happy with the return.

You need to understand, teams want to compete for a World Series, but they do not want to overpay for anyone, even a player with control. Especially now with only one trade deadline there is a lot more pressure for teams to make moves quicker, more efficiently, plus the need to make a choice and most teams would not want to take that risk unless they are absolutely positive about a player working with their team and their system. 

The other thing I believe fans forgot about is what if Stroman walks out of Toronto to free agency at the end of his deal? The BlueJays would have nothing to show for it and nothing to help build the future. How quickly fans seem to forget that Bautista, Encarnacion, and Donaldson were all superstars for this team and instead of trading them when the time was right, they honored loyalty instead and got burned. Bautista fell from glory and could barely find himself a spot on an MLB roster, Encarnacion was allowed to walk in free agency (both sides at fault on that), and Donaldson was hung onto until his value was at less than nothing and got a minimal prospect in return. If the BlueJays traded even one of these players at the right time, a rebuild may have never been needed as each of those players could have brought in at least 3-4 top prospects from other organizations. So why should the Blue Jays have waited? Stroman is having one of his best seasons of his career stats wise and may only lose value from here, including contract control. Some fans need to take the emotion out of it and look at the logical side of the sport when it comes to situations like this and remember past deals that left the team burned with nothing to show for it.

Stroman was a good pitcher for the Blue Jays but that is all he was, he was good, not great. He will go down as one of the more emotional pitchers to play for the Jays and I am sure it is one of the reasons why Jays fans loved him. Aside from that, when looking at the stats, he won’t be the reason a team wins a World Series and he is not enough of a boost to make the Mets a playoff team.

I do wish Stroman the best as he did give it his all for this team but at points did do a little too much talking or for that matter tweeting about the front office, and that is not something you want from a veteran when teaching young players the ropes. That is not how you handle yourself in the public eye. If he thinks it was tough in Toronto and felt the need to express this much imagine what he is about to experience in New York. For the Blue Jays, they close the curtain on the Stro-Show and take the next step with the new wave of young Jays. Only time will tell if the trade was worth it, but it was a risk the Blue Jays and the whole front office needed to take and with the deadline looming, one can only hope they bring in a few more prospects by 4pm on July 31st.   


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