Minnesota Twins Trade Target Profile: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman /

Could the Minnesota Twins make a trade for Toronto Blue Jays diminutive righty Marcus Stroman? What would it cost?

This trade season, the Minnesota Twins are in a conundrum. The team is in contention via its record, and certainly to appease fans, the team wouldn’t want to throw in the white flag until it was certain that there was no chance to make the postseason. However, the Twins are also in the midst of a rebuilding process that they do not want to upset in order to acquire a short-term piece for a run this season.

We at Puckett’s Pond will be looking at a number of the trade candidates that the Minnesota Twins may be pursuing over the next few weeks ahead of the July 31st trade deadline. Today’s highlight will feature a guy that has been in the Twins’ cross hairs before.

Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

Marcus Stroman was drafted originally by the Washington Nationals in the 18th round of the 2009 draft out of high school in New York, but he chose to attend college at Duke instead, which paid off handsomely, as he was selected 22nd overall in 2012 after an elite career with the Blue Devils.

After appearing in relief in his draft season after a full season of innings for Duke during the collegiate season, Stroman made his full season debut at AA, an aggressive placement, even for a college arm. However, he was quite successful, making 20 starts, throwing 111 2/3 innings, with a 3.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 27/129 BB/K ratio.

After just 7 starts in AAA, Stroman made his move up to the majors, and he established himself as an important part of the Blue Jays as soon as he was able to get to the majors. An ACL tear in 2015 kept Stroman to 6 total appearances in the majors and minors combined.

Last season, Stroman showed himself to be healthy and durable, though the numbers weren’t what was expected, as he made 32 starts, throwing 204 innings, with a 4.37 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and a 54/166 BB/K ratio.

In 2017, Stroman has returned to the guy that many expected last year, with a 3.28 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 112 1/3 innings, posting a 29/93 BB/K ratio.

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Why the Twins would be interested

Stroman gets dinged by many for his small size as he’s only 5’8″ tall, but he is well-built and has extremely clean mechanics, with his knee injury coming on a freak injury as he fielded the position.

Beyond the Box Score had a great article on how Stroman has simplified his pitches this season and found plenty of success in doing so. At only 5’8″, he’s figured out how to spin a sinker that is near-impossible to get quality contact on, yet he can still generate swing and miss when needed with his slider.

Stroman is the type of guy who is a legit workhorse type of ace. He may not be the dominant starter you’d prefer at the front of a long-term rotation, but he’s an excellent 1A that will be out there 30+ times every year, giving 200+ quality innings, and he’s only 26.

The cost

Stroman is in his first year of arbitration, and he’s still arbitration eligible each season until after the 2020 season, so he has a few years of “control” that would be big leverage for the Blue Jays. He’s also one of the few positive things the Blue Jays have going for them in the rotation, so for their fan base, they’d need a major win in a trade with guys who could be there soon.

I could see the Blue Jays, with a system that has some depth in bats, being interested in a deal that sends 2 of Fernando Romero/Stephen Gonsalves/Felix Jorge along with 1-2 arms at mid- to lower- levels behind those upper minors guys, like a Lewis Thorpe, Griffin Jax, or Tyler Wells. That may be getting the conversation started and not complete the deal, but it’s where things likely would need to start to get in the room on Stroman, with likely another piece or two to get figured out.

Next: Griffin Jax Scouting Report

What do you think about this type of deal? Would you want to bring in Stroman to secure the rotation? Would you prefer to trade a different package of players to make it happen if so? Comment below!!