The Astros have a solid lead in the AL West, but acquiring Marcus Stroman could push their rotation over the top in the postseason.
Marcus Stroman might prefer to pitch in the bright lights of New York City, but that won’t stop the Blue Jays from evaluating trade offers from other teams. The Astros are another American League franchise who could look to make a deal for the Toronto starting pitcher.
Houston certainly wouldn’t need to do much scouting work on Stroman. According to Peter Gammons, the organization scouted Stroman just as heavily as they did Justin Verlander two seasons ago. They certainly would need to check in to make sure nothing has gone awry with his health or mechanics, but additional background work wouldn’t be required.
The Astros certainly have a reason to be in the market for starting pitching. Both Forrest Whitley and Corbin Martin are both currently dealing with injury issues. Whitley in particular, is someone the coaching staff had high hopes for coming into the 2019 season.
Even without a fully healthy cadre of starting pitchers, the Astros have still carved out a very good rotation. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole already give Houston one of the most formidable one-two punches in all of baseball. Wade Miley and Brad Peacock have both pitched better than expected to date as well. It’s really only Colin McHugh in the five spot who has been an issue to date.
With that being said, things are different when October arrives. The Astros are more concerned with building their postseason rotation than trying to solidify their regular season options. Stroman has flashed the type of electric stuff this season in Toronto that can dominate opponents in big games. He isn’t the most consistent pitcher in MLB, but when he’s right he can be downright filthy on the mound.
The question the Astros must ask is whether or not acquiring Stroman is worth the type of prospect they’d likely be required to fork over. The presence of the Yankees and other teams in the Stroman market will give Toronto a lot of leverage. It’s easy to imagine the Blue Jays getting a premium prospect in exchange for their ace.
The Astros aren’t the favorite for Stroman at the moment, but counting them out of the race would be a mistake. They’ve done their homework on him and will be prepared to strike if they believe he’s the player who can put them over the top.