Marcus Stroman has built a reputation as a big-game pitcher that wants the ball when the stakes are highest. Not only does Stro hold himself in that regard, but the managers that he has worked under in the past share the same belief.
There’s plenty of evidence to support this, too. Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons handed him the ball in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS against the Texas Rangers, and Jim Leyland did the same in the final of World Baseball Classic for Team USA in 2017.
Both games ended up as wins for the team Stroman toed the rubber for, and serve as touchstone moments for teams that may be in the hunt for his services near the MLB trade deadline with playoff aspirations in mind.
“I love the kid. He is a great competitor,” Gibbons told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “He’s volatile and emotional, anyone can see that. He wants the spotlight. If there is a big game to pitch, he wants it. Some guys shy away from it. He has a chip on his shoulder, big time. He’s very sharp, intelligent, went to Duke. Yes, most definitely (he can handle New York).”
With his performance this season, Stroman’s value has likely never been higher, and suitors are apparently beginning to line up to bid on him. He made the All-Star team for the first time, and after another sterling performance on Wednesday against Cleveland he lowered his ERA to 2.96, the best of his career.
The Yankees, Astros, Braves, Phillies and several other contenders are listed in Sherman’s article as the top suitors, and it stands to reason that any team with designs on playing in the post-season would find room for him in the rotation.
The number of teams asking about the 28-year-old is increasing with every start, and the Blue Jays now reportedly believe they’ve received enough quality offers that a high enough floor has been reached to begin a real bidding process to maximize the return.
With the trade deadline now less than a week away, and Stroman’s next scheduled start slated for Tuesday, it seems more and more likely that he has made his last appearance on the mound for the Blue Jays.
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