Marcus Stroman is looking around and trying to smile, when others may scream.
The Blue Jays starting pitcher offered a prediction, an AL East observation and an admirable game face Thursday morning, a day after the Yankees met with Manny Machado.
“Machado is going to the Yankees. Yankees go out and get everyone,” the 27-year-old right-hander wrote on Twitter. “Red Sox are lethal. Rays are dangerous. Can never sleep on the Orioles. I’m going to the gym. Gonna be in my zone all year. Excited to compete in the best division in baseball! #ALEast.”
Traditionally, the Yankees have gone out and signed everyone, and they are undeniably interested in the prodigious talents of Machado. Yet they are unlikely to go to the $300 million-plus range that Machado is believed to want, and he met with the White Sox and will meet with the Phillies, two teams whose offers could beat the Yankees’.
The Rays are indeed dangerous, especially after signing Charlie Morton to pair behind Blake Snell in their rotation. If Stroman can take any comfort, you can always sleep on the Orioles. But, indeed, he could be looking at the major leagues’ best division.
Stroman’s motivations will help after a 2018 to forget, when he never got on track and finished 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA, a season after he dominated the East and baseball in putting up a 3.09 ERA.