Since the disastrous 2018 season ended and as recently as the uneventful winter meetings in Las Vegas, Blue Jays manager Ross Atkins has made it clear he wouldn’t hesitate trading Marcus Stroman if the price is right.
It remains to be seen what that price might be, but MLB.com is reporting that ongoing talks with the San Diego Padres regarding the 27-year-old starting pitcher are getting serious.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, the Padres are offering the Jays a package including a couple of their top pitching prospects, the type of package that appears to appeal to Atkins as the team’s rebuild continues.
The report wasn’t out long before Stroman, who is extremely sensitive to such news regarding his future, took to Twitter to both dismiss it and express his disappointment.
Stroman’s first tweet was an anguished face emoji followed shortly after by a post to the social media site that said: “Rumors are waste. Rogers Centre is my second home. Canadian cultured fam!”
Stroman may believe Toronto is his second home, but given how many of the old-guard players management has parted with over the past six months, there certainly are no guarantees.
Though Stroman still has two more seasons of club control, he is coming off his worst full season with the Jays, one in which he posted a bloated ERA of 5.54. That offseason certainly limits his marketability but Atkins was adamant earlier this month that the team won’t sell low.
Stroman has certainly been a lively and at times dominant personality in the Jays clubhouse, one that will soon be populated with young players. It’s unclear if Jays management sees the talented pitcher as a leader of that group going forward.
Stroman’s outsized personality also has a big presence on social media where he markets his Height Doesn’t Measure Heart brand of apparel and he often posts videos of his workouts. Earlier this week he talked about the challenges of pitching in the AL East while making an assumption that the Yankees would land free agent infielder Manny Machado.