The New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves are among the teams pursuing Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman in a trade.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported "many teams" have called the Blue Jays in regard to Stroman, with the Yankees and Astros seemingly in the lead. Heyman also called it "absurd" that the Braves would not be able to agree to a deal with Toronto because their general manager is Alex Anthopoulos, who used to run the Blue Jays.
Stroman, 28, is 6-10 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.25 WHIP this season, striking out 93 batters in 117.2 innings. He is also eligible for arbitration this winter, meaning whichever team trades for him will have him under control through the 2020 season.
Of the three teams named, the Braves and Yankees are more desperate to shore up their starting rotation. Atlanta is 15th in starter ERA and New York is 12th; Houston is a relatively healthy sixth but needs help behind its trio of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley. Stroman is the type of fourth starter who could put the Astros over as the World Series favorite.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are completely lacking in a reliable ace. Each of their five starters brings something to the table, but New York's roster is heavily reliant on its offense as currently composed. Even Stroman would not necessarily bring full stability, given his shaky performances in five career postseason starts.
Stroman has been pretty open about the fact he wouldn't mind being a Yankee. He was born in Medford, New York, which is just outside Long Island.
"Obviously I'm on the Blue Jays and love everything about Toronto and this organization," Stroman said in June, per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. "I try to keep that in the back of my head because obviously, you hear rumors all the time. I'm from New York and I'm a New York boy. That kind of says everything for itself."
"I love [New York]," Stroman continued. "New York’s like the Mecca of the world, right? I love excitement. I love bright lights. I love competition. I love pressure. I've always loved pitching here even though I haven't necessarily pitched well here. I've always enjoyed it."
With only nine days until the deadline, the Blue Jays are on the clock. Just don't expect them to jump at the idea of handing their best pitcher over to a division rival.