ESPN’s Buster Olney recently appeared on TSN Radio 1050 to describe the impending Blue Jays’ fire sale and how a team like the Yankees are keeping a close eye on right-handed shooter Marcus Stroman.
For the past year, we’ve wondered what it would take for the Yankees to potentially trade any number of their premium minor league prospects.
Is it possible then that a 26-year-old New York native who is club controlled through the year 2020, be the one that forces general manager Brian Cashman to reconsider his stance against dealing from his stockpile of young assets?
That’s the question we’re posed with after Buster Olney suggested that the Yankees are just one of the teams waiting for Jays GM Ross Atkins to waive the white flag.
"“In fact, I’ve had teams I’ve spoken with about Stroman,” Olney said. “There are a number of teams — the Cubs, the Astros, the Yankees all fit this category — looking for a controllable starter. And Marcus isn’t going to be eligible for free agency until after 2020. They’re definitely taking a look at him. The question becomes if the Blue Jays would move him.”“If I were sitting in their shoes, and you knew you were wanting to make the decision you’re going to blow up the team this summer, absolutely you would take a serious look at whatever offer you were to get because the time they would finish some kind of a retooling cycle, Marcus would be getting very close to free agency. So, absolutely you would take a look at it.”More from Yankees NewsAaron Judge Time interview scared Yankees as much as it scared youWhy weren’t Yankees in on Kodai Senga now that we know the price?Baseball Reference proves Yankees’ Aaron Judge lives rent free in BostonYankees’ Clay Holmes trade just became even bigger disaster for PiratesMets stealing New York Post’s entire Yankees offseason plan is hilarious"
The Yankees got an up close look at the Long Island product on Monday night at The Stadium, as Stroman overcame two early runs in the first inning before settling down and striking out three batters, but was forced to leave the game in the fifth inning due to a blister.
In 17 appearances this season, Stroman is 8-5 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Since his arrival to the bigs back in 2014, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound righty has compiled a 32-21 record, 3.80 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 467 innings pitched. His career WAR stands at a robust 8.4.
Not your prototypical strikeout pitcher, the former first-round pick out of Duke University traditionally relies on his heavy sinker, pinpoint mid-90s fastball, three breaking pitches (slider, curveball, cutter) and changeup to stay out in front of hitters.
Signed this season at $3.4 million, Stroman will enter the first of three arbitration years in 2018. An affordable, healthy young arm who has yet to scratch his potential will likely come at a premium.
However, the Yankees need to decide how much they value a potential front line starter not being groomed in their own farm own system. Should Masahiro Tanaka exercise the opt-out clause in his contract after this season, the club will be left without a clear No. 1 starter.
Though Luis Severino has shown signs of a top-tier ace, we’ll need to see a larger sample size from the first-time All-Star before bestowing such an honor upon him.
I’d be shocked to see the Yankees offer the likes of Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield in any potential deal, but names that could come into play would likely be Jorge Mateo, Blake Rutherford, Domingo Acevedo, Jorge Guzman or Albert Abreu.
At the end of the day, Stroman isn’t a rental piece. He’s a long-term asset that teams like the Cubs, Astros and Dodgers will likely vie for when and if he hits the market. The Yankees must decide what they’re willing to surrender for a pitcher who’s best is yet to come.