Marcus Stroman has been made available for trade by the Toronto Blue Jays, but are the San Diego Padres willing to meet the asking price for the right-handed pitcher?
Reports are coming out of Toronto that the Blue Jays are looking to trade veteran players.
It may be early in the season for the Jays to throw in the towel, but they want to maximize the worth of their older players. Among the likely candidates to be traded is Marcus Stroman who is considered the ace of the staff. The Padres are looking for pitchers and have been loosely linked to Stroman in the past.
The two sides will surely talk in the coming weeks, as the July trade deadline looms. Though the Padres have the prospects to quench the Blue Jays’ thirst, should the team move players when they aren’t quite ready to compete in the NL West? The team is playing well now, but with virtually every starting pitcher headed to an innings limit of sort, it will be tough for the Friars to win ballgames in August and September.
Adding Marcus Stroman to the Padres’ rotation would help the young staff, but he will not come cheap. The Jays are looking for valuable prospects to add to their nucleus of talent. The Padres can meet the asking price, but should they?
Let’s explore the value and cost of Stroman and then analyze if the San Diego Padres should pay the price.
Value of Marcus Stroman
He is not a true ace. There are only a handful of pitchers that fit that label. Stroman is still an excellent pitcher and has decent value. Though he can be outspoken and blunt, he displays leadership qualities that the Padres covet. Stroman is a bulldog and demands the ball from his manager each start. With one full year on top of the remaining 2019 season, he is under minimal control, and that may ding his value slightly. This is probably why the Jays are starting discussions early in regards to trading him. Padres management would like to acquire a pitcher who is under contract through 2021, but if the price is right, Stroman could be an option for the Friars. The right-handed pitcher fits the need at the front of the rotation which consists of mostly left-handed pitchers (Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi, Matt Strahm, Nick Margevicius).
Stroman is 1-4 this season with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.195 WHIP in 41 innings pitched. He is throwing the ball well and seems highly motivated to have a great year as his contract year comes closer. His value is climbing, as teams begin to realize that the pitcher is motivated to perform at a high level. Stroman has yet to allow a home run this season as he generally keeps the ball down in the zone. The right-handed pitcher will be traded by Toronto eventually, and his value could climb if two teams bid for his services.
Cost of Stroman
The Jays want prospects. They would desire pitchers in return for Stroman, that you can be sure of. The Friars have many young starting pitching prospects and could package two for Stroman to get talks started. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess. Josh Naylor makes sense as the Jays have no clear option at first base and can also use the left-handed hitter in the DH position. Yes, Naylor is also Canadian which does not hurt the marketing aspect for Toronto.
Would San Diego be willing to part with a current member of the rotation to get a deal done? Perhaps Toronto wants an established pitcher. In adding Stroman to the roster, the Padres would have an excess of current major league starting pitchers. Losing a Margevicius, Lucchesi or Lauer for Stroman seems steep, but the Jays are not about to sell their right-handed hurler off cheaply. This could be a topic of discussion between the two sides as they explore options. There are so many different scenarios in a potential trade.
Can the Padres afford the price tag?
Yes, they can afford the cost. But should they start to empty the farm system for a pitcher that is only under control for the next year and a half? This is the question that only the baseball operations department can answer. A lot of it comes down to cost. If Toronto takes a package of lesser tiered prospects for Stroman, the San Diego could be enticed. Dealing players like Lauer, Quantrill, and Naylor for Stroman just isn’t going to happen. He isn’t under enough team control to warrant that asking price and Stroman still has issues with durability. He is listed as 5-foot-7, and there are serious concerns about whether or not he can stay healthy for an extended period.
The upside of almost every member of the current Padres’ rotation is equal to or higher than Marcus Stroman. Each is under control for a minimum of four years. The Padres will need to be sure any player they add is a worthy and positive influence on the team. More young pitchers will be arriving soon, so this will be an ongoing problem for the San Diego Padres. Stroman would be an excellent addition for the Padres, but it must be at their demands and not the Blue Jays. The Padres are an up and coming team but cannot get too caught up in the hype. Let the process unfold and allow the young players to establish themselves.