Is he loud? Yes. Is he obnoxious? Yes. Did he struggle last season and does he currently not really have a leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating a long term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays? Yes. But, Marcus Stroman is still right.
Marcus Stroman has been going IN on the Blue Jay’s front office for their lack of action in the off-season and their reluctance to reward players, namely himself, for wanting to come and play in Canada.
Stroman hasn’t been quiet regarding the Jay’s offseason, speaking up about lack of veteran presence and the contract commitment issues the Blue Jay’s front office has when it comes to their current players and free agents.
After speaking up at spring training, Stroman’s comments about the team’s lack of veteran presence has been characterized as lamenting the organization, lashing out at management, and saddening because the team is very young. In reality, he just said this:
“I love that the team is young, but I do think there needs to be a balance. There’s a great way for these young guys to learn from the veterans that have been doing this year, after year, after year.”
Scary, isn’t it?
Is Stroman just trying to jockey himself in line for his desired long-term contract extension? It’s a good possibility but not, in my estimation, the real reason behind his media diatribe early in spring training.
While that is viable, I think Stroman could just be looking to ensure the kids on the team have the same opportunity to learn from veteran leaders like he did.
To this day, Stroman still hangs out with Jose Bautista, including an offseason tour of Canada with him. Bautista, a non-Toronto native showed Stroman the ropes when it comes to repping Canada and Toronto. He’s been a mentor to him and also (like it or not) showed him how to bring the swagger to the diamond.
Maybe more important to Stroman’s development as a player was the influence of Mark Buehrle. SI.com has him slotted in as a Hall of Fame candidate when he becomes available in 2020, and his use of timing mechanics and unique delivery certainly have impacted Stroman as a pitcher.
Why the Jays should look at locking down Stroman
The Jay’s should look to lock down homegrown talent like Stroman if they want to bridge the gap between inexperienced squad to playoff contender in the next handful of year.
Not because Stroman is asking for it, but because he’s the type of player that feeds off of negativity and creates chips on his shoulder to stay motivated. He’s speaking out now at his displeasure with how things are currently going in Jays land, but imagine the Jays inked him long term?
He’d be the first and loudest person to credit the team for the decision, he’d be motivated to return the investment, and he’d also become the shining example of why players should come to Toronto. The team cares.
Stroman isn’t an elite superstar, or a Cy Young candidate this season or any other. But he’s a solid pitcher and an enigmatic character who will gladly get in front of a microphone – for or against you. The Jays might as well use him, rather than lose him and anyone else who takes stock in what he’s saying.