When the Toronto Blue Jays traded Marcus Stroman, it was bound to ruffle some feathers within the fanbase, especially given the starter’s popularity.
What they might not have expected is the trade raising the ire of other teams - specifically those who planned to sell pitchers at the deadline.
Other teams selling pitchers are very annoyed at the Blue Jays return for Stroman, which one rival called “dogs*it.” If that’s all it took to get Stroman, fear is the price goes down for other pitchers unde control— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 30, 2019
teams can’t understand why the Blue Jays made what looks to the industry a deadline desperation trade several days before the deadline.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 30, 2019
Clearly, the Blue Jays’ return for Stroman of Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson has not impressed some folks around the baseball world. That’s not surprising seeing both ranked in the middle of Mets prospect lists - which is particularly damning given New York’s rather unimpressive farm system.
For a pitcher of Stroman’s quality, the Blue Jays were probably expected to get at least one of the top 100 prospects in the game, in addition to a complimentary piece or two. It’s not hard to see why the move has been questioned.
The Blue Jays are clearly higher on the prospects they acquired than most teams are. It’s clear that their hopes for Woods Richardson specifically are sky high and given what he’s accomplished before his 19th birthday there’s some justification for that.
Just because Toronto has gone against the grain in their evaluation of these two young players, it doesn’t mean they’ve made a bad trade by definition. Their conviction about their new prospects could be richly rewarded if Kay and Woods Richardson pan out.
However, when you go against industry consensus you open yourself up to questions if things go sideways - and when it comes to being better than other teams at player evaluation and development, the Blue Jays haven’t done much to earn the benefit of the doubt.
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