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Candid Stroman clarifies arbitration comments

Right-hander reaffirms strong relationship with club, city of Toronto
MLB.com @gregorMLB

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Marcus Stroman admits that his emotions got the best of him after he came out on the losing end of his recent arbitration case in Arizona.

Stroman created a bit of a stir on social media earlier this week when he opened up about his frustrations surrounding the case. One of his tweets included the quote: "The negative things that were said against me, by my own team, will never leave my mind."

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Marcus Stroman admits that his emotions got the best of him after he came out on the losing end of his recent arbitration case in Arizona.

Stroman created a bit of a stir on social media earlier this week when he opened up about his frustrations surrounding the case. One of his tweets included the quote: "The negative things that were said against me, by my own team, will never leave my mind."

The 26-year-old later deleted the tweet and insisted he was not mad. The following day, Stroman addressed the media for the first time since the incident and tried to provide some clarity on why he said what he said and some of the regrets that come along with it.

"It's an extremely tough process," Stroman said. "I went through it last year. I went through it again this year. It's not a process that is enjoyable at all. I was frustrated. I tweeted pretty much what happens during the arbitration case, which is the other side doesn't say very nice things about you, and they bring up your entire career.

"It's tough. It's tough to sit in a room like that for five hours, be quiet and listen to all of the things that date back to the time I was in the big leagues that worked against you. I was upset and I think I have every right. I think if I wasn't upset, it would be even weirder."

Video: Outlook: Stroman to be an effective AL starter in '18

The Blue Jays, like most Major League teams, used outside counsel to represent the organization during the hearing. Both sides made their case, and eventually an independent arbiter sided with the Blue Jays for a salary of $6.5 million, instead of the $6.9 million that Stroman had been seeking.

Part of the arbitration process involves both sides making their case. Toronto's representatives argued for the lower salary, while Stroman's team argued for the higher amount. It's not immediately clear exactly what the Blue Jays focused on during the hearing, but the arguments typically include a lot of comparisons to other players along with a plethora of stats and rankings.

Stroman didn't want to attend the meeting after experiencing it first-hand a year ago, but he said it was mandatory. The case appeared to create friction between the two sides, but Stroman and general manager Ross Atkins sat down Friday morning to clear the air. Stroman was adamant that his relationship with the organization was not damaged and he is just simply looking to turn the page.

Video: Atkins talks about Stroman's arbitration case

"There's no bad relationship there," Stroman said. "It's something I was frustrated with. ... Even when I went through it last year, those things that they say in that room, even though you don't want to hold onto those things, you do. To be honest with you, I pitched with a lot of those things in my head last year.

"A lot of the things they said, that was motivation, that was fuel to the fire, that I pitched with last year. I understand it's a process and I understand it's going to blow over in the next couple of days. My relationship with the team is still the same. It's still extremely strong. I talked with Ross this morning, and I'm just excited for this year."

Tweet from @MStrooo6: Can���t wait to be back in Toronto this year. Dealing on my mound. For the entire country of Canada! 🇨 @BlueJays #HDMH

Stroman has two years of arbitration remaining after this upcoming season, so it's possible he's headed for a similar fate a year from now. One way to avoid that is by signing a multi-year extension. Stroman said he has always been open to negotiating something long-term, and while he hasn't received any offers from the Blue Jays, he doesn't expect the recent events to change any of that.

"I can't express to you, honestly, how much I love the city of Toronto," Stroman said. "How much I love the country of Canada. I know I'm not a Canadian citizen, but I truly do feel like one. I promise you that. That's evident in the sponsorships I work with, the businesses, the companies that I'm an ambassador for. That's evident in the trips that I take back to Toronto in the offseason, cross-country trips that I take to see the fans. I love this country. I do, and I want to be here. That's it. I want to be here and I want to be here long term. I just want to feel like I'm wanted here."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman