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What Will It Take to Acquire Marcus Stroman?

As the trade deadline draws near, the Minnesota Twins still haven’t made any substantial moves to support either the bullpen or the starting rotation. There has been a lot of speculation on a number of pitchers the Twins could acquire here at Twins Daily. One of those pitchers is Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The Blue Jays are said to have a high asking price on Stroman, and would like a deal similar to the one the Tampa Bay Rays received in return for Chris Archer last season. Will the Blue Jays get their wish and bring in a gigantic haul for Stroman, or will they need to settle for a lesser offer?
Image courtesy of © Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
To figure out what it might take to acquire Marcus Stroman, let’s start by looking at what he brings to the table. Stroman is currently 28 years of age and is under team control through the 2020 season. Stroman currently possess a 3.06 ERA (3.62 FIP) in 117 and 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays so far in 2019. For his career, Stroman has a 3.78 ERA (3.62 FIP) through his first six MLB seasons. Stroman isn’t a heavy strikeout pitcher, as his career 19.3% strikeout rate is quite low for today’s standards. From a control perspective, Stroman is solid, as his career 6.7% walk rate is slightly above average for an MLB starting pitcher. What makes Stroman so effective is his extremely high groundball rate. In a era where hitters are trying to hit the ball in the air more than ever, Stroman does an excellent job of preventing them from doing so. Since his debut in 2014, Stroman has a 59.6% groundball rate and a 22.1% flyball rate. Among the 152 starting pitchers with at least 400 innings pitched over that span, those numbers rank as the second highest and third lowest respectively.

The next step is to look at the deal the Blue Jays are reportedly asking for. The blockbuster trade of last summer was the deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and Shane Baz. At the time Archer was still a highly thought of starting pitcher, with three and a half years of team control remaining. More than double of what is left on Marcus Stroman’s contract. Glasnow and Meadows were both highly touted prospects in the Pirates system who were up with MLB team, but hadn’t shown much at the MLB level quite yet. Still they were prized possessions, who many believed were ready to break out sooner rather than later, which is exactly what happened. Meadows has gotten off to a great start to 2019 and was named to the American League All-Star team. Glasnow was on his way there too with a 1.86 ERA (2.32 FIP) in eight starts before getting shut down with forearm inflammation. In addition to those two, Baz was the Pirates first round pick in 2017, and was ranked as the 95th best prospect in baseball by MLB.com at the time of the trade. Baz currently sits as MLB.com’s 91st best prospect in baseball, right around where they have Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic ranked, for context. If the Twins were to match that offer, they would be looking at giving up a package deal that includes Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar Graterol and Jordan Balazovic.

It is probably safe to assume that the Blue Jays won’t be getting any offers for Marcus Stroman that are remotely in the range of that Chris Archer deal that a year later is already considered on of the worst deals in MLB history. Especially given the fact that Stroman has less trade value now than Archer did at this point last summer given the length of control each player has/had. If the Blue Jays don’t get a package that they like for Stroman, they could always hang onto him. However, they have little leverage to use that in a negotiation right now because MLB teams know the Blue Jays won’t be competitive again until after his contract is up, and from this point on, his trade value is only diminishing as the number of starts he can give the team that acquires him goes down. So, if the Blue Jays want to maximize their value for Stroman, they need to make a deal happen before the July 31st trade deadline.

If we want to look at a more realistic trade to comparison for a Marcus Stroman deal, a better trade to look at might be the Sonny Gray trade in 2017. At the time of his trade, Gray still had two and 1/2 years of control left before free agency, and like Stroman, was considered a young arm that would slot right into the top of the rotation on a postseason contender. While this is more than Stroman has left on his deal, it is a lot closer comparison than the Chris Archer deal. In that trade the Yankees gave up Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian, who were their fourth, eighth and twelfth ranked prospects respectively according to MLB.com. However, both Fowler and Kaprielian’s trade values had been significantly diminished at the time of the trade due to injury. Kaprielian was only a few months removed from Tommy John surgery and Fowler had torn his right patellar tendon after crashing into the while during the first inning of his MLB debut. At the time of the deal, the Yankees were considered to have a top farm system, like the Twins do now. So, if the Twins were to offer up their fourth, eighth and twelfth ranked prospects, according to MLB.com, the deal would include Trevor Larnach, Jhoan Duran and Stephen Gonsalves. To me, this seems like a much more realistic trade proposal for the Blue Jays to receive than one that would match the Chris Archer deal. However, since Gray still had an entire extra year of control remaining, it still stands to question that a fair trade for Stroman would be a little less expensive than that.

With all those factors laid out, we can start to make a more accurate prediction as to what it should cost to acquire Marcus Stroman. While this isn’t an exact science, because we don’t know exactly how the Twins and Blue Jays value the players in the Twins farm systems, and we don’t know exactly what other teams are willing to offer, we can probably get pretty close to a fair market value for Stroman. Personally, I think both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff should not be on the table in trade discussions for Stroman, as each carries much more value to the organization than acquiring Stroman for one and a half years would. Additionally, I find it hard to believe that the Twins will look to move Brusdar Graterol right now with his value being diminished due to his shoulder injury. This leaves both Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic to injclued as the headliner in the return package back to the Blue Jays. I think it will take at least one of these two, plus one or two other mid-level prospects to get the deal done.

My Offer: Trevor Larnach, Lewis Thorpe and Nick Gordon

What do you think? Is this package enticing enough to convince the Blue Jays to trade Marcus Stroman to the Twins, or is this offer too much to give up for him? What would you be willing to trade away to get Stroman? Let us know in the comment section down below.


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93 Comments

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Post-Concussive Blues
Jul 22 2019 07:37 AM
I think that is a reasonable offer. One benefit of acquiring him now (or this winter) would be that he can receive a qualifying offer next offseason. That goes away if he is traded during his contract year, right?
    • ashbury likes this

You say that Larnach, Duran and Gonsalves is too much.Then you give up more by suggesting Larnach, Thorpe and Gordon.Bad Deal, bad, bad, bad!

    • pbrezeasap, PDX Twin and Jacks02 like this

Need Bullpen Help Now!! Starters aren't our problem.

    • Sconnie and Trump2020 like this
I like this trade proposal. Would allow Twins to move Perez to bullpen as Thu need a lefty with strike out pitches.
    • Danchat likes this

Only after getting at least two back end relief pitchers.

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Andrew Thares
Jul 22 2019 08:32 AM

 

You say that Larnach, Duran and Gonsalves is too much.Then you give up more by suggesting Larnach, Thorpe and Gordon.Bad Deal, bad, bad, bad!

My thought process for this offer is Stroman isn't quite as valuable as Gray was back when he was traded in 2017, but it is still close, so the trade should be pretty close. Personally, I think Thorpe is a downgrad from Duran, and both Gonsalves and Gordon are both shells of what they once were prospects who the Blue Jays might want to take a chance on. So overall, a slightly less valuable offer, in my opinion.

    • goulik likes this

The Blue Jays probably won't need to settle for the best offer on the table with how few sellers there seem to be. There should be strong interest from the Yankees, Phillies, Astros, Brewers, Twins and maybe Cardinals, Braves, A's, Angels or others as well. Its very possible that the Giants and Diamondbacks stay put instead of selling, if that happens the starting pitching market is very dry.

 

Someone can probably beat this offer for Stroman. Personally I would rather go the rental route if we grab a starter and spend cash in the off season for the 2020 rotation.

 

The Blue Jays probably won't need to settle for the best offer on the table with how few sellers there seem to be. There should be strong interest from the Yankees, Phillies, Astros, Brewers, Twins and maybe Cardinals, Braves, A's, Angels or others as well. Its very possible that the Giants and Diamondbacks stay put instead of selling, if that happens the starting pitching market is very dry.

 

Someone can probably beat this offer for Stroman. Personally I would rather go the rental route if we grab a starter and spend cash in the off season for the 2020 rotation.

I don't anybody offers more than Larnach, Duran, that would seem like a pretty good haul for him, and I bet they would take it in a heart beat and this FO wouldn't do it. IMO

That proposal is an overpay according to baseballtradevalues.com

Stroman total value: 26.8
Larnach, Gordon, Thorpe total value: 31.2

But it may take something like that to get their attention.
    • In My La-Z-boy likes this

This type of trade has a spotty track record for the buyer, Archer being the prime example, but Sonny Gray didn't really work out for the Yankees, and there was the famous Shelby Miller for Dansby Swanson debacle. 

 

I'm sure the Blue Jays asking price would hurt, especially considering the Twins won't be alone in bidding for his services. It would likely take more than prospects you are comfortable giving up like Gonsalves, Duran, or Gordon.

 

 

I.... I don't think Stroman is actually all that good.... 

 

(ducks) 

 

 

    • Steve Lein, pbrezeasap, nicksaviking and 5 others like this
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MMMordabito
Jul 22 2019 09:37 AM

With the way the Twins defense has been playing, is Stroman going to be successful in helping down the stretch?It seems he's pretty dependent on that.  

 

Is he going to be greeted at the door with a warning that his outbursts will not be welcome?  

I think your trade proposal of Larnach, Thorpe, and Gordon, plus Jeffers or another good prospect could get us Boyd from Detroit.
    • In My La-Z-boy likes this
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LA VIkes Fan
Jul 22 2019 09:43 AM

That seems like a lot, bit you're probably right that it would take something like that to get Stroman. As a result, I'm not in favor of the player at the cost. While improving our starting pitching would be helpful, I think the bullpen is a higher priority. 

 

You guys are much better than I at figuring out likely costs in a trade. It's easy and a little unfair to sit back and wait for a proposal and say no but I'm really curious, what do you thin it would take to get one or two of the following:

 

Ken Giles (Blue Jays)

Felipe Vasquez (Pirates)

Roenis Elias ( Mariners)

Mychal Givens (Orioles)

Chris Martin (Rangers)

 

I know that's wide variety of quality and price points. I'm just curious as to the cost for these levels since I think that's the basic choices. I don't think Will Smith is going to be available since the Giants now think they have a real shot at the playoffs (and they may be right). I also don't see us trading inter-division with Detroit or KC and giving up anything of long term value, so it will be hard to get much back unless KC just wants to shed Ian Kennedy's salary.  

 

That seems like a lot, bit you're probably right that it would take something like that to get Stroman. As a result, I'm not in favor of the player at the cost. While improving our starting pitching would be helpful, I think the bullpen is a higher priority.

You guys are much better than I at figuring out likely costs in a trade. It's easy and a little unfair to sit back and wait for a proposal and say no but I'm really curious, what do you thin it would take to get one or two of the following:

Ken Giles (Blue Jays)
Felipe Vasquez (Pirates)
Roenis Elias ( Mariners)
Mychal Givens (Orioles)
Chris Martin (Rangers)

I know that's wide variety of quality and price points. I'm just curious as to the cost for these levels since I think that's the basic choices. I don't think Will Smith is going to be available since the Giants now think they have a real shot at the playoffs (and they may be right). I also don't see us trading inter-division with Detroit or KC and giving up anything of long term value, so it will be hard to get much back unless KC just wants to shed Ian Kennedy's salary.


You can find out for yourself here:

https://www.baseballtradevalues.com

Let us know what kind of trade proposals you put together!

Does KC have any other decent BP arms that would allow the Twins to take on some extra Ian Kennedy salary to entice for two decent relievers (Ian plus one)?

With the way the Twins defense has been playing, is Stroman going to be successful in helping down the stretch?It seems he's pretty dependent on that.  

 

Is he going to be greeted at the door with a warning that his outbursts will not be welcome?  

While the thread is "what will it take," I do agree that questions surrounding the nebulous term "makeup" could reduce Stroman's trade value more than analytic tools would suggest. An extreme amount of due-diligence would be expected from my evaluation team, regarding this point. My manager unconsciously shaking his head while pondering how to answer my question might be enough of a veto.

 

A corner outfielder should be the headliner of a trade if at all possible, and Larnach is a logical candidate. Almost certainly an arm has to be offered as well. Problem is that rebuilding teams want high-end pitching prospects, and if another contender is prepared to offer a top-rated arm, it may be necessary to follow suit, and in that case Larnach is almost too much to pair with that.

 

I've been skeptical about loading up with corner position players in the draft as "safer" picks than pitchers, because when it comes time to trade... other teams will reply "we've got somebody of our own who is about that good." Luckily, Toronto might consider themselves a little thin in that department.

 

I might try Larnach, Alcala, and Gordon, if my relationship with Toronto is cordial enough that it can withstand an offer being laughed at, and then try to go from there. I add Celestino instantly, which the tradevalues site then considers an overpay, and maybe ask for a lottery-pick prospect in return as well to rebalance things. Alcala may not be of interest to them, though - then we haggle over better arms and it starts getting painful.

 

Or... that's where Giles comes into the conversation...

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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Andrew Thares
Jul 22 2019 10:21 AM

 

No Twins starting pitcher has an ERA above 4.4 (and Pineda's 4.4 ERA is misleading as he is pitching quite good of late after the expected slow start to the season).

Why are we looking at a starting pitcher, isn't bullpen the glaring need? Who do you kick out of the rotation if you get Stroman?

It's not a big need, but after Berrios, and maybe Odorizzi, who in the rotation would you trust to give the ball to in a postseason game more than Stroman?

 

Also, adding Stroman could help the bullpen by pushing potentially Martin Perez back there to be an effective pitcher to give you a few innings of relief, similar to the role Mike Montgomery filled for the Cubs during their postseason run in 2016.

 

Also adding a starting pitcher doesn't mean the Twins still can't add a couple high quality arms to the backend of the bullpen. I think people forget that those moves aren't mutually exclusive.

I would definitely do that deal. Do the Jays have a lefty reliever they can throw in too?

    • ashbury likes this

I doubt the Jays have much interest in Gordon since they have Bichette and Biggio up the middle.

    • ashbury and Dman like this

Some of it depends on what the Jays are looking for, of course. But Larnach seems to be a logical starting point, along with 2-3 other guys. I like Griffin Jax quite a bit and he could be very interesting to a team like Toronto...or they might not think he has much of a future at all. Someone like Gonsalves is a bit of a "sell low" right now, but there's also enough minor league track record to make a team think "we can get him back on track and make them look foolish".

 

Considering some of the 40-man crunch that's pending, the Twins could be looking to package together more of a quantity deal with only 1 top-end player (like a Larnach). 

 

How much has Lewin Diaz or Travis Blankenhorn's stock risen with their performances this season?

    • Dman and DocBauer like this

What will it take?

 

Courage.

    • Dman, adorduan, Reider and 1 other like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 22 2019 11:42 AM

 

While the thread is "what will it take," I do agree that questions surrounding the nebulous term "makeup" could reduce Stroman's trade value more than analytic tools would suggest. An extreme amount of due-diligence would be expected from my evaluation team, regarding this point. My manager unconsciously shaking his head while pondering how to answer my question might be enough of a veto.

 

A corner outfielder should be the headliner of a trade if at all possible, and Larnach is a logical candidate. Almost certainly an arm has to be offered as well. Problem is that rebuilding teams want high-end pitching prospects, and if another contender is prepared to offer a top-rated arm, it may be necessary to follow suit, and in that case Larnach is almost too much to pair with that.

 

I've been skeptical about loading up with corner position players in the draft as "safer" picks than pitchers, because when it comes time to trade... other teams will reply "we've got somebody of our own who is about that good." Luckily, Toronto might consider themselves a little thin in that department.

 

I might try Larnach, Alcala, and Gordon, if my relationship with Toronto is cordial enough that it can withstand an offer being laughed at, and then try to go from there. I add Celestino instantly, which the tradevalues site then considers an overpay, and maybe ask for a lottery-pick prospect in return as well to rebalance things. Alcala may not be of interest to them, though - then we haggle over better arms and it starts getting painful.

 

Or... that's where Giles comes into the conversation...

I've got to think some of this winter's Rule V guys would fall into play... as would some of our excess on the 40 man. I believe Alcala fits that bill, and I think someone like Gonsalves might be a good option as well. Gonsalves isn't high end, but his pedigree says he could be a decent ML pitcher and just needs developing (which Toronto has ample room to do).

    • ashbury, Riverbrian, Dman and 1 other like this

 

Need Bullpen Help Now!! Starters aren't our problem.

 

Yet

 

Lose one and the scenario will change on a dime. 

 

 

    • ashbury and Oldgoat_MN like this

Yet

 

Lose one and the scenario will change on a dime. 

"Two truths throughout baseball history. No team ever made any money, and you never have too much pitching." -- Donald Fehr, paraphrased

    • Twins33, Riverbrian, Sconnie and 2 others like this

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