Mets acquire Stroman 

July 29th, 2019

MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest news and trade rumors surrounding impending free agent right here.

Sources: Mets acquire Stroman for pitching prospects

July 28: Stroman is on his way to Queens. The Mets acquired Stroman from the Blue Jays in exchange for Minor League pitchers Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson.

Sunday's news comes as quite a surprise, considering that the Mets were heavily rumored to be sellers leading up to Wednesday's Trade Deadline and were especially rumored to be trying to deal starters Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler. DiComo notes, however, that Mets officials have said that any deals they make before the Deadline will be with an eye toward improving both in the second half of 2019, as well as in 2020. Syndergaard and Wheeler could still be traded, though a source tells DiComo that all 25 members of the Mets' active roster traveled with the team to Chicago for the team's next series against the White Sox.

Stroman quickly left the Blue Jays clubhouse following their 10-9 loss to the Rays on Sunday and did not speak to reporters. But he did send a tweet professing his love for the city of Toronto.

The 28-year-old ranked among the biggest and most likely names to be moved prior to the Deadline. He has compiled a career-best 2.96 ERA and 3.52 FIP across 21 starts, excelling in spite of his 6-11 record for the fourth-place Blue Jays. Stroman, a Long Island native, now moves to the spotlight of New York -- a place he raved about and said he loved pitching in last month. Many assumed at the time that Stroman was referring to the Yankees, but now he's pitching for their crosstown rivals.

It could take these top prospects to land Stroman

July 28: If the Yankees are going to swing a trade for Stroman, it might take their No. 1 prospect, Deivi Garcia.

The 20-year-old right-hander is believed to be the starting point of Toronto's asking price, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. The Yankees' No. 2 prospect, outfielder Estevan Florial, hasn't performed well this season and might not currently have the value to get a trade done.

Sources also told Morosi that the Padres and Twins are interested in Stroman. The Padres in particular have a deep farm system, and they might not even need to part with No. 1 prospect MacKenzie Gore to get Stroman.

A source told Morosi that the names of San Diego's No. 2 prospect Luis Urias, No. 6 prospect Adrian Morejon and No. 7 prospect Logan Allen have all come up in trade talks between the Padres and Blue Jays. Read more >

New contenders emerge in Stroman sweepstakes

July 27: While the Yankees ultimately might not have the prospect package to meet Toronto's asking price, other big-market teams have entered the fold.

On Saturday, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported one creative scenario that the Mets are discussing, in which they would use prospects gained from a potential trade with the Padres for starter Noah Syndergaard to turn around and seal a deal with the Blue Jays that brings Stroman to Queens.

That proposed deal might be more fantasy than reality. Syndergaard is under team control for a year longer than Stroman, and essentially trading Syndergaard to acquire Stroman would appear to be a lateral move, rather than the Mets declaring whether they are trying to contend in the immediate future or rebuilding.

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Rosenthal reported later Saturday that the Dodgers, long thought to be invested in the reliever market, are also considering starters -- including Stroman.

Ross Stripling landed on the injured list Saturday, but he and right-hander Kenta Maeda were likely heading to the Dodgers' bullpen anyways come October. A postseason rotation featuring Stroman, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu would look formidable on paper, with injured starter Rich Hill potentially re-entering the fold on September and perhaps serving as a situational reliever/longman in October.

To be clear, a Stroman trade is still not imminent -- yet. But, as a pitcher who loves performing in the spotlight, the talented righty might soon find himself in one of MLB's biggest markets.

Morosi: Braves, Blue Jays have had recent dialogue

July 27: A source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Braves and Blue Jays have had recent dialogue concerning a trade. However, Atlanta isn't believed to be seriously pursuing starter Marcus Stroman, who is arguably Toronto's best trade chip as well as a logical fit for the Braves.

Rather, Atlanta appears to be focused on acquiring a reliever, per Morosi. The Blue Jays have two prominent right-handers to move in Ken Giles and Daniel Hudson. Atlanta is also believed to have interest in utility man Eric Sogard in the wake of Dansby Swanson (right foot contusion) and Nick Markakis (fractured left wrist) going on the injured list. More >

Will Stroman make one final start before Deadline?

July 26: Few names have come up more in trade rumors this year than Marcus Stroman’s, but time is running out on a potential midseason swap, with the July 31 Trade Deadline looming this coming Wednesday. Yet that’s not the only reason why the Blue Jays and any interested clubs might feel a sense of urgency is working something out for the All-Star right-hander.

Stroman just pitched on Wednesday against the Indians, allowing one run in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.96. That means his next start would be scheduled for before the Deadline, and while Toronto has not officially announced a date, Sportsnet reported that Stroman’s next turn would come on Monday at Kansas City.

As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince pointed out, that schedule almost sets an informal pre-deadline Deadline for a trade.

“The Blue Jays would be taking on risk that something happens that lowers his value, and contending clubs need to extract as much value – i.e., as many starts – from this deal as possible,” Castrovince wrote.

Sure, there is nothing preventing Toronto from trading Stroman between his next start and July 31. But it's not just the chance for an injury or a disastrous start that would make that seem risky.

Once that outing happens on Monday (or even Tuesday), Stroman would have one fewer start to offer a prospective team new. After July 31, clubs will have roughly 50-55 games remaining, which means a starting pitcher could take the ball maybe a dozen more times at most. Removing even one outing from that equation makes a significant difference, especially for a postseason contender in a close race.

As for whether Stroman will in fact be traded, the right-hander offered a humorous hint Friday on Twitter. Replying to a post from The Score regarding a rumor that Toronto might sign him to an extension rather than trade him, Stroman expressed some light-hearted surprise.

Stroman's performance on rise amid rumors

July 25: As trade buzz has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, the players drawing the most chatter have been Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, Matthew Boyd, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Marcus Stroman and Mike Minor, at least among starting pitchers.

However, it's now possible that most of those hurlers will end up staying put for various reasons -- team success on the parts of Bauer and Bumgarner, steep asking prices for Boyd and Syndergaard, an injury for Wheeler -- and the Blue Jays and Rangers appear poised to capitalize on the shrinking pitching market.

Multiple executives said they've been led to believe Stroman will be traded before the Deadline, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, and based on conversations with rival execs, Passan believes that Minor's start on Wednesday likely will be his last with Texas.

The 31-year-old lefty was somewhat underwhelming in his potential final outing with Texas, surrendering five runs (four earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts over six innings in a loss to the Mariners. Since improving his ERA to a season-low 2.40 in a June 26 complete game, Minor sports a 6.04 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP over his past four starts.

Stroman's performance, on the other hand, has risen amid the rumors recently: The right-hander also pitched Wednesday, allowing just five hits and one run with six strikeouts and a walk over seven strong frames in losing to the Indians. The 28-year-old's ERA spiked to a season-high on June 7, but in the seven outings since, he owns a 2.30 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP to bring his overall ERA down to 2.96 -- tied for eighth best in MLB.

"I realized that it could have possibly been my last home start, so [I] definitely wanted to show the crowd some love," Stroman said after Wednesday's effort. “Because the last seven years that I've been a Blue Jay, it's been unbelievable."

Stroman and Minor are both under control through 2020, so their current teams aren't facing a situation where they have to trade them to avoid losing them for nothing. But given the scarcity of alternative options, the offers may be too good for Toronto and Texas to refuse.

Morosi: Braves, Blue Jays not having active discussions concerning Stroman

July 23: The Braves were among many teams scouting Stroman's start in Detroit on Friday, but that might be the extent of their activity concerning the Blue Jays right-hander.

A source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that discussions involving Stroman are not ongoing between Atlanta and Toronto.

The Athletic's David O'Brien had a similar report Sunday, noting that the Braves may be more engaged with the Jays about closer Ken Giles.

As far as the Braves' rotation goes, it's possible the club's big addition came in the form of Kevin Gausman, who returned from the injured list to throw a gem (7 IP, 1 ER, 8 K's, 0 BB) against the Nationals on Sunday.

Blue Jays seeking Archer-like package for Stroman

July 20: There appears to be plenty of teams with interest in Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, as MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Friday that eight teams -- the Yankees, Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, Rays, Reds and Red Sox -- had scouts in attendance for Stroman's gem against the Tigers.

The large number of potential suitors combined with the extra year of control the Blue Jays have over Stroman gives the club the leverage to place a lofty price tag on him. How lofty? According to David O'Brien of The Athletic, Toronto has been seeking a Chris Archer-like package for the 28-year-old.

When the Rays traded Archer to the Pirates on July 31 last season, the deal landed Tampa Bay two former top 100 prospects (Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows) as well as a player to be named later who turned out to be Shane Baz, currently ranked 91st overall. The trade now looks like a colossal overpay for Pittsburgh, with Archer struggling mightily as Glasnow and Meadows have become cornerstone pieces for Tampa Bay, and it seems far fetched that any team would be willing to match that package in exchange for Stroman.

At the time, Archer came with a possible three remaining years of team control after 2018 -- a guaranteed $7.7 million salary in '19, plus a $9 million club option ($1.75 million buyout) in '20 and an $11 million club option ($250,000 buyout) in '21. He also had a lifetime 3.69 ERA with a 9.7 K/9 mark. Compare that to Stroman's career 3.78 ERA and 7.2 K/9, with only one year of control left after 2019.

Stro pitches gem in front of scouts

July 19: Marcus Stroman's start Friday night in Detroit drew a Who's Who of scouts from contenders -- and he delivered a gem.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Braves were all on hand to watch the All-Star right-hander toss seven shutout innings against the Tigers, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. And they were just the start. The Dodgers, Cubs, Rays, Padres and Reds also had scouts at Comerica Park.

Per Morosi, the Yankees had a "significant scouting presence" in attendance, including former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who is now a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. The Red Sox dispatched top adviser Frank Wren to Detroit (who could also be monitoring closer Shane Greene), while the Braves sent pitching expert Rick Williams.

Stroman scattered six hits and struck out five in Friday's scoreless outing, lowering his ERA to 3.06 in 20 starts this season. The 28-year-old is one of the top starters available on the trade market, and the Yankees, Red Sox and Braves could all benefit from adding starting pitching.

Stroman's last start before Friday was actually against the Yankees in New York, and he delivered a quality start in that game, too, holding the Bronx Bombers to three runs in six innings while striking out seven. Stroman's high ground-ball rate seems to make him a good fit for Yankee Stadium, with its short right-field porch, and he's already proven he can pitch in the AL East, having spent his entire career in the division. He's been linked to the Yankees even before Friday.

The Red Sox could also use another starter (even though they've already traded for Andrew Cashner), especially since they plan to use Nathan Eovaldi out of the bullpen, potentially as their closer, when he returns from the injured list. So could the Braves, as someone like Stroman could further boost a rotation that has already added Dallas Keuchel but still has several question marks.

Phillies showing interest in Stroman

July 19: Even after agreeing to a contact with veteran left-hander Drew Smyly, the Phillies are still monitoring the trade market for a rotation upgrade.

MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Friday that Stroman is one target the Phillies have shown interest in.

Controllable through 2020, Stroman is still in his prime at age 28, so he'd require the Phillies to surrender a significant package to acquire him.

Philadelphia remains in the playoff mix and is seeking a rotation boost for the stretch run.

Dissecting Stroman's trade value

July 18: Amid his bounceback season, Marcus Stroman has been a hot name in the rumor mill of late. The right-hander is in his prime at 28, comes with another year of control after 2019 and sports a 3.25 ERA and an elite 57.9 percent ground-ball rate – all of which explains the appeal.

It also indicates why the Blue Jays have a fairly high asking price for their top starter. But will Stro be on the go?

"He’s gettable, and multiple GMs expect Stroman to be dealt before July 31," ESPN's Jeff Passan writes in a story running down some of the bigger candidates who could be swapped this summer.

"Stroman is the prototype of what teams are seeking in this high-spin rate, high-velocity era," MLB.com's Richard Justice writes in highlighting Stroman as one of nine trade targets who could make a major impact down the stretch. "His fastball regularly touches 95 mph, and his cutter is in the 91-92 mph range. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his last 11 starts and is allowing less than one home run per nine innings."

Another factor in Stroman’s value, as Passan points out, is that he’s a candidate to be presented with the qualifying offer after the 2020 campaign by Toronto -- or any team that acquires him this season. That would mean he would gain his '20 team Draft-pick compensation should he sign elsewhere, thus adding to his potential value to his '20 club. That's something the Blue Jays could use as leverage in discussions.