Houston Astros: The case to trade for Marcus Stroman

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, an ace that the Houston Astros should target (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, an ace that the Houston Astros should target (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The trade deadline is two weeks away. The Houston Astros need starting pitching help and they can get it in Marcus Stroman. Here’s the case as to why.

At just over 95 games into the 2019 season, the biggest need for the Houston Astros is getting some help with the starting rotation. This is where someone like Marcus Stroman could be a huge asset to get before the trade deadline.

Aside from Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley, the two other starting spots are, essentially, a revolving door of bullpen relievers. Collin McHugh is the only one in the pen that can effectively go for extended innings. Brad Peacock can as well, but he is currently injured.

Enter Marcus Stroman!

As of this writing, Stroman is having a decent year with the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite having a 5-10 record in the win/loss column, his ERA is still a respectable 3.25 to date. Moreover, he has 88 strikeouts in a little over 110 innings and a WHIP of 1.27 through 19 games so far in 2019.

Pick Your Poison

When it comes to pitching selection, Brooks Baseball has Stroman as a jack of many trades. His sinker, which averages a tail in at 93 mph, is nearly unmatched by anyone else in the entire league. Like Dallas Keuchel, Stroman gets a lot of ground ball outs on that pitch. He has also been known to mix in an off-speed curve in the mid-70s range, and a changeup and slider that are both averaging in the mid-80s speed wise.

Stroman also favors the four-seam fastball that averages around the same speed as his specialty sinker. However, he rarely goes to this pitch. Nevertheless, that sinker he has would pair nicely in this Houston Astros rotation with Verlander’s go-to four-seam fastball, Cole’s slider and Miley’s cutter and changeup. Having all of these pitches in the starting rotation arsenal would give opposing teams quite the rough time at the plate.

The Price is Right

Many would look at the numbers on Stroman, and on the surface, immediately resort to a “meh”

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mentality, asking why the Houston Astros wouldn’t try to go after someone like Madison Bumgarner. Frankly, Jeff Luhnow and company will certainly make a push for any noteworthy starter they can get on the market.

Here’s something to consider, though. Bumgarner is going to come at a very high price tag. Something that only a handful of teams will be able to give up for him. From an outside perspective, Luhnow is not looking to unload the farm to get any player, no matter how much of a commodity they are.

But this is what is different about Stroman. Because he is on a team like the Blue Jays, his name doesn’t get mentioned as much. This is generally where Luhnow likes to swoop in and make deals similar to the one that sent JV over here in the championship year of 2017. In Stroman, you get a player that still has one more year left of arbitration after this season before his free agency in 2021 at a price tag sitting currently at a reasonable $7.4 million.

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Not to mention, all the stats on him mentioned above. The Blue Jays have been enthusiastic trade partners with the Astros in the past, so the time is now for Luhnow to pull the trigger here!