The Toronto Blue Jays are entering a rebuilding phase.
Roberto Osuna and J.A. Happ are no longer on the roster. Injuries have limited 2015 MVP Josh Donaldson to just 36 games. Everywhere you look, things are getting a little messy. Plus they’re just 51-62 while playing in the AL East. That’s not going to cut it during a normal year; it’s especially not going to cut it when the Boston Red Sox are incapable of losing.
Yet there is still reason for excitement. Aaron Sanchez, who looked so good in 2016, is still under team control until 2021. Unfortunately, injuries have limited him to just 23 starts over the past two seasons as of this writing. 19-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is tearing apart the minor leagues. We don’t know when the Blue Jays will decide to call him up, but Vlad Jr. is THE future.
Then there’s Marcus Stroman. He’s still only 27 years old and also under team control until 2021. And while his ERA doesn’t look good at all (5.20), Stroman still has a 3.86 FIP and 3.88 DRA over 15 starts this season. That’s much more promising; results just haven’t followed. Plus, such as the theme for the Blue Jays, injuries have limited Stroman to only 15 starts this season. Still, he’s coming off a 2017 campaign which saw him finish with a 3.09 ERA, 3.87 FIP and a significantly higher 4.57 DRA.
We don’t know what Stroman is going to turn into, but we do know that he’s got massive potential. However, Jon Morosi of MLB Network believes the Blue Jays are open to trading him this winter.
“I think there is a … probably a 50/50 chance he’s dealt this offseason based on where their conversations were at the deadline this year, and where the need is for pitching around the game.”
Again though, there should be no urgency for the Blue Jays to move him (or Sanchez for that matter). They’re still arbitration eligible for two more seasons after this one before being able to hit free agency. If a rebuild is in the works (and it is), those two young arms could be the ones to anchor it.
Of course, the Blue Jays could always look to sell high.