Toronto Blue Jays rumors: Interest in Cubs hurler would deepen rotation

Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports /

The hottest team in the majors right now is the Toronto Blue Jays. Winners of eight straight, they are doing it with a pitching staff that is picking each other up. Could more help for the rotation be on the way at the MLB trade deadline?

In June, Alek Manoah was sent to the Florida Complex League in an effort to fix his problems that have seen his record drop to 2-7 with a 5.91 ERA. Despite getting lit up in his one outing in Florida, he came back before the All-Star break and gave up five hits and one run with eight strikeouts over six innings against the Detroit Tigers. It was a positive start and it’s going to be needed after Kevin Gausman was scratched from his start Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks because of left-side discomfort. He’s not expected to go on the 15-day IL, but Toronto will be very cautious with their right-hander. Chris Bassitt started in his place and pitched well on short notice.

Things are going well for the Blue Jays right now, but like just about every team at the trade deadline that is a contender, looking for another starter can be the difference in the playoffs and it appears they are kicking the tires on a former Blue Jay.

MLB rumors: Toronto Blue Jays reportedly showing interest in Marcus Stroman

It was reported over the weekend that the Blue Jays are showing interest in bringing back right-hander Marcus Stroman, who is having a good season with the Chicago Cubs. He is 10-6 this season with a 2.88 ERA in 118.2 innings pitched and he has a WHIP of 1.09.

Stroman began his career in Toronto and was an ace for them from 2014-19 compiling a 47-45 record with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. In his last outing Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, the fiery hurler allowed just three hits and a run in six innings of a 10-4 victory. He was very efficient in his 91-pitch effort in what is most likely one of his final starts for the Cubs.

There has been talk about Stroman and the Cubs coming to an agreement on a contract extension before the trade deadline, but that appears unlikely and Chicago will have to deal him to avoid losing him for nothing over the winter.

“I am open to it,” Stroman said. “I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Like I said, there are zero hard feelings. I have a great relationship with (the Cubs’ front office ) I love everything here. I just don’t think they are in a position to sign me before the deadline. Yes, I hope they will be in the mix in the offseason. I love the city and the fan base. Whatever happens happens. If I have to go somewhere else for two months to pitch, so be it. I am in a good space mentally, so I am in a good place regardless.”

It doesn’t sound like the two sides are going to get together on a new deal and if he has to go pitch somewhere else over the final two months, adding him to Toronto’s rotation would make them difficult to match up with. The key to their rotation is if Manoah continues his upwards trend following his minor league stint. Bringing Stroman back to where his career began on a team that has the pieces to make a long playoff run seems like a no-brainer.

A rotation that would include Manoah, Gausman, Bassitt, Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi, and Stroman is one that could put the Blue Jays over the top in October. Acquiring Stroman makes just too much sense for Toronto and is a move that they should be focused on before the deadline.

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