The Blue Jays had a golden opportunity to accelerate their rebuild by dealing Marcus Stroman. Instead, they whiffed on the chance to add high-end talent.
The Mets front office hasn’t had a lot to celebrate this season, but credit New York for winning the Marcus Stroman trade. The Blue Jays didn’t get nearly enough talent in return for their talented right-hander.
Stroman’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors for months. There were quite a few teams interested in his services all the way up until the Jays finally agreed to send him to the Mets. It’s hard to understand how Toronto didn’t find a way to make a better deal.
Blue Jays officials will try to spin this as a successful deal because they managed to get two out of the top 10 prospects in the Mets system. You can’t argue with that as a fact. Both Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson are rated firmly in most scouts’ top 10 for the organization. Saying you got two of another team’s top-10 prospects makes for a nice sound bite.
Unfortunately for fans in Toronto, the team’s haul for Stroman isn’t nearly that impressive. Starting pitching is the most valuable commodity on the MLB trade market at the moment. Stroman, at the very least, is a quality No. 2 or No. 3 starter. Dealing that type of player to a potential World Series contender should have netted Toronto at least one potential star.
In other words, the Blue Jays should have held out for a consensus top 100 prospect. Kay might be relatively close to making his impact in the majors, but the fact that you won’t find him on many, if any, such lists demonstrates what scouts think about his potential ceiling. If everything goes right, Kay might be able to become something close to the pitcher that Stroman already is. Obviously, Toronto officials should have aimed for a hurler with star potential.
The addition of Woods Richardson in the deal does help add significant value for Toronto, but they weren’t in a position where they needed to deal quality for quantity. The Blue Jays front office would have been better off dealing Stroman straight up for one, premium prospect. They shouldn’t get extra credit for nabbing two above average prospects from a relatively weak farm system.
The Blue Jays have one of the strongest young corps in baseball, but they missed a big chance to add to it this week. Selling Stroman on the cheap may haunt Toronto for years to come.