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There’s a worthy debate to be had about whether the Toronto Blue Jays should trade Marcus Stroman or try to extend the right-hander and build a rotation around him.
While there are valid points to be made on both sides of that discussion, the Blue Jays front office appears poised to ship the 28-year-old out of town. That’s not a secret in baseball circles, and Stroman knows exactly what the score is.
"I think it's at the point where I don't think I'm going to sign long-term,” he said in an interview at the All-Star Game with TSN. “They haven't had me in their plans for the future and I've come to terms with it."
Stroman is under team control through 2020, but if the Blue Jays were serious about re-signing him they almost certainly would have done so by now. In absence of a long-term contract, the combination of his production and where the team is in its competitive cycle puts him squarely in the trade bait zone.
"I've been out there performing over the last however many years,” he said. “I consider myself a pretty good starting pitcher when starting pitching is a need in the league."
Although the right-hander is self-aware about his predicament, he wants to make it clear this isn’t a situation he asked for. If he had his druthers, and presumably if the money were right, he’d be happy to settle down in Toronto for years.
"I love everything about Toronto,” he said. “I love everything about Canada. I've loved every minute I've spent in that country."
Nothing Stroman said in the interview is particularly revelatory, but his honesty and understanding of the situation is still unusual. His words run in stark contrast to the “whatever happens, happens” rhetoric you’d get from most players (although he does use that phrase at one point to be fair) and it’s clear he’s very aware of what the Blue Jays are trying to do as an organization and how that intersects with his career.
For now, all he can do is make sure he’s healthy when Toronto returns to action after the break, and cast an eye to the future.
"I truly, truly, truly believe my best years are ahead of me. With my stuff and my body and my mind I think the future's going to be really exciting."
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