Blue Jays deal Stroman to Mets for 2 prospects

Toronto acquires Minor League pitchers Kay, Woods-Richardson from New York

July 29th, 2019

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have traded star right-hander and cash considerations to the New York Mets for pitching prospects Anthony Kay (Mets' No. 4 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) and Simeon Woods-Richardson (No. 6), the club announced Sunday night.

At 6:53 p.m. ET, after reports of the deal first came out, Stroman posted a tweet.

“Toronto, I love you…forever,” it read, with a Canadian flag.

Trade reports have surrounded Stroman for much of the season, but the Mets, who sit fourth in the National League East with a record of 50-55, had not been mentioned until more recently and this could be the start of a larger overhaul or retooling for them.

Stroman has been the Blue Jays’ best player in 2019 and the organization’s most public-facing presence. The right-hander was originally drafted by the Blue Jays out of Duke University in the first round, No. 22 overall, in the 2012 Draft. Stroman made his Major League debut with the club in 2014, and he has gone on to make 135 appearances over six seasons with the Blue Jays, pitching to a 3.76 ERA.

“[There have been] so many different moments,” Stroman said earlier in the week. “Obviously ’15 and ’16 were whirlwind years and those are the moments that will always hit home.

“Obviously I pitched Game 5 [of the ALDS in 2015] and I pitched the Wild Card Game [in 2016], [with Jose] Bautista’s homer and Eddie [Encarnacion]’s homer, so those are the two scenes that will always have a lasting effect on my memory for sure -- just how loud it was in those moments and how crazy the fans were. I’ll definitely always be thankful for those times.”

This season has been Stroman’s best, with the eyes of scouts on him all year long. Stroman owns a 2.96 ERA after 21 starts this season with peripheral metrics that suggest he should sustain this success down the stretch. Stroman has always viewed himself as a stronger second-half pitcher, and he’s certainly backed that up with back-to-back seven-inning starts that saw him allow just one run overall. Stroman also prides himself on his abilities as a hitter stretching back to his days at Duke, which adds an interesting wrinkle as he moves to the National League.

Kay, a first-round pick in 2016, has pitched in Double-A and Triple-A this season with mixed results. He was excellent to open the season in Double-A, but has posted a 6.61 ERA over seven starts at the next level. The lefty previously underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2017 season.

While Kay, 24, represents what general manager Ross Atkins likes to call a “near-term” player, given that he’s close to the Majors, Woods-Richardson is a little further off. The right-hander is still just 18 years old after being drafted out of high school in 2018 (second round) and has posted a 4.25 ERA over 20 starts this season in Class A.