Toronto Blue Jays

Clock running down toward end of Marcus Stroman’s Blue Jays career

Marcus Stroman pitched solidly on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels but suffered another loss in what might be one of his last starts in a Jays uniform

It was all Marcus Stroman could do but shake his head after another frustrating loss on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Toronto Blue Jays right-hander went seven-plus innings against the Angels giving up just four hits, two of them a bloop double and an infield single. The only blemish on his night came when Kole Calhoun and Brian Goodwin homered in the fifth inning, runs that proved to be the difference in a 3-1 Angels victory at the Rogers Centre.

Stroman was tagged for the loss despite his strong effort, coming out to a loud ovation after Kevan Smith’s weak single to third to lead off the eighth inning. The loss dropped his record on the season to four wins and an AL-leading nine losses, despite having a 3.23 ERA, 10th in the AL.

The 28-year-old Stroman has spent his entire six-year career in Toronto, but the team around him in 2019 bears little resemblance to the Blue Jays teams that twice went to the ALCS. The team is in the middle of a complete rebuild and a terrible season. They’ve dropped 19 of their last 25 games to fall to 26-47 on the year and are on pace for the club’s first 100-loss season since 1979.

What goes with a rebuild is the trading away of veterans, and Stroman is right at the top of the list of players most likely to leave Toronto by the July trade deadline. Stroman has a year of arbitration eligibility left and will likely get a pay raise in the offseason before becoming a free agent after the 2020 season. He admitted after the game on Tuesday that he’s well aware of the trade rumors swirling around him right now.

“It’s impossible not to be aware of it. I mean, I wake up and socials are blasted,” he told MLB.com. “There’s talk everywhere in the clubhouse, it’s kind of around 24/7 so I’m definitely aware of it … It seems like everybody’s saying I’m not going to be [a Blue Jay after the deadline], so I don’t know.”

If Stroman does leave, a return back home to New York to play for the Yankees would be a natural fit. Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman has already stated the club is looking to upgrade it’s pitching staff, and Stroman, a native of Medford on Long Island, would likely be a target of the Blue Jays AL East-rivals.

But Stroman isn’t thinking about going home or anywhere else. The man with the CN Tower tattooed on his body says he’s fully committed to the city of Toronto and the Blue Jays while he’s still with the club.

“I love this team. I love Toronto. I love everything about the country and I’m going to continue to go out there each and every start and just compete, compete, compete,” he said.

The fans at Rogers Centre cheered when Stroman came off the field on Tuesday, but as of right now, it’s uncertain how many more times they’ll get the chance to do that.

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