MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins are one of a handful of teams — or rather, two large hands full of teams — with interest in Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher, according to a recent report from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.
Though they were not one of 8 teams Morosi identified with scouts at his latest outing in Detroit, Stroman remains a possibility. That’s a lot of buyers with interest in Stroman, not to mention a number of other players on the Blue Jays and Tigers who could make a contender better.
In a funny twist, Stroman shrugged off the importance of having employed talent evaluators out evaluating his talent:
“I don’t think it matters, man, to be honest with you,” Stroman said of the added attention with the trade deadline nearing. “I couldn’t care less, to be honest. I feel like you can watch the game from home the same as watching it from behind [home plate], as far as spin rate and all the things they get [from] video. I don’t know why they show up, you know?”
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 21, 2019
Still, the more important thing to note — beyond his strong 7-inning shutout performance against the Tigers — is that Stroman will not be a free agent at the end of the year. Stroman is in his 5th full season of Major League service, meaning that he’ll be under team control for one more season after earning this winter’s raise in salary arbitration. He’d help a trade partner for the rest of this year and next year.
And that’s important to note for Minnesota. The Twins, SKOR North has learned, are focusing attention on pitchers with control beyond this year. And it makes sense considering Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda all are set to become free agents this winter. The Twins might need to go shopping in the winter, anyway, so might as well make one purchase early, right?
Stroman is making $7.4 million this year and he’ll make more than that next year. Some consider the 28-year-old righty as being on that second tier of aces around baseball. He’s not Max Scherzer, but he’s plenty impressive. Stroman this year owns a 3.06 ERA in 20 starts for Toronto. Though his strikeout numbers are low and walk numbers are high — by “ace” standards. (His 19.1% strikeout rate is lower than all 5 starts in Minnesota’s current starting rotation.)