The San Diego Padres have the prospects necessary to make the Toronto Blue Jays consider moving their ace Marcus Stroman.
If the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in moving on from Marcus Stroman, the San Diego Padres are an ideal trade partner.
The Blue Jays and Padres are discussing a deal that would send the 27-year-old right-hander to San Diego, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. A.J. Cassavell, who covers the Padres for MLB.com, reports that trade talks have occurred but adds “nothing’s close right now.”
The Padres have the type of loaded farm system that makes a move for Stroman feasible. San Diego has 10 prospects ranked in the top 100, according to MLB Pipeline, tied with Atlanta for the most in the league.
Seven of their top 10 prospects are pitchers the Blue Jays will be looking at in a potential deal to improve their pitching depth. Three of those, in particular, could be involved in the trade.
Michel Baez, a 22-year-old Cuban right-hander, possesses a fastball that can reach 99 mph. The 6-foot-8 Baez had a 2.91 ERA in 17 starts at the Padres Single-A affiliate in Lake Elsinore last season, striking out 9.55 batters per 9 innings. MLB Pipeline rates him as the 57th top prospect in baseball. Left-hander Adrian Morejon, another Cuban export and the 46th ranked prospect, had a 3.30 ERA in 13 games at Lake Elsinore and is just 19 years old. Finally, left-hander Logan Allen, the 76th ranked prospect, excelled at Triple-A El Paso in 2018, going 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA in five starts.
This isn’t the first time the Blue Jays have been rumored to be shopping Stroman. A deal with Atlanta was reportedly in the works in July, while the Cincinnati Reds expressed interest at the Winter Meetings last week. Nothing, however, came of those reports.
Stroman is coming off the worst season of his five-year career. He had a 7.71 ERA in his first seven starts of the year before going on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. His season ended in early September after dealing with blister issues, finishing the year with a 5.54 ERA in 19 starts. He remains under team control for the next two seasons.
If he’s able to return to his pre-2018 form, though, adding Stroman would return some respectability to the Padres organization. San Diego is coming off their eighth consecutive losing season. They finished 25.5 games behind in the NL West last year, and haven’t made the postseason since 2006. Their top free agent signing this offseason, RHP Garrett Richards, underwent Tommy John surgery in July and isn’t expected to pitch in 2019.
That leaves a hole at the top of the Padres pitching staff for next season, one that Stroman would be a good candidate to fix.