Houston Astros: Team fighting the Dodgers over a Marcus Stroman trade

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman who is rumored to be targeted by the Houston Astros (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman who is rumored to be targeted by the Houston Astros (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros are reportedly targeting Blue Jays’ pitcher Marcus Stroman but the team is in stiff competition with the Dodgers. Who will win?

Houston Astros fans — it’s now T-minus three days until the MLB trade deadline and now the hot stove is sizzling with an infinite amount of rumors in regard to what will be the next move for the buyers/sellers on the market this around.

As it has been over the past few seasons, the Houston Astros are a contender and are expected to the buyers in quite a rich seller’s market.

It’s no secret that the Houston Astros are looking for pitching help and the franchise’s name has been connected to the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Boyd, Trevor Bauer and Robbie Ray.

All of the aforementioned would fulfill the need of the team needing additional help in the starting rotation.  The team’s top three starters in the rotation are set with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley but after that, things get dicey.

Why?  Brad Peacock was supposed to be the 4th guy in the rotation but he’s struggling with a shoulder injury, forcing the Houston Astros to use their bullpen a lot more than usual just to get through the bottom portion of the rotation.

The latter is not a long-term solution and the Houston Astros must find help before the trade deadline so those tired bullpen arms will have time to rest up before the start of the postseason in a couple of months.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, you can add Marcus Stroman to the list of pitchers that the Houston Astros are targeting to which the hearing of this news is pleasing.

This puts the Houston Astros directly in battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers to acquire his rights via trade.  It’ll be interesting to see who wins but Houston has plenty of ammunition to get the Blue Jays to sign on the dotted line.

This is the first I’ve heard confirmation of an actual rumor — and the first time I’m taking a column out on him — linking our beloved team to a great pitcher and what seems to be an even better person.

How much will he cost?

Stroman will earn $7.4 million this season so the Houston Astros prorated portion of what they’ll pay him should be around $3.6M.  He has one more round of arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2021 so the one season of club control is quite appealing.

But as we all know — and what Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has been telling us as of late — it’s not necessarily about the money.

It’s going to be a matter of how much the club is willing to give up to trade for him?

I will tell you this — if the Toronto Blue Jays want Kyle Tucker, they can certainly have him for a pitcher like Stroman but I’d like a lower-level prospect back in return if they’re giving him up.

His presence alone will work wonders for this starting rotation and his demeanor as well as personality, coupled with his talent, all seem to be an ideal fit for this organization.  The crazy thing is that they may not have to hand over Tucker as collateral to which I’m sure that’s at the top of their negotiating strategy.

He’s only 28-years-old so his prime pitching years are within reach and I think he’s going to be good for a very long time, which would be nothing but a boon for the Houston Astros.

How is Stroman doing?

Stroman possesses a 6-11 record, a 2.96 ERA while tossing 99 strikeouts off 41 earned runs.  He has a great 3.52 FIP with a decent 1.23 WHIP through 124.2 innings pitched and 21 starts.

He’s 8th in the majors in WAR (3.2), 6th in FIP (3.52) and 9th in adjusted pitching wins (1.9).

This was his first season being named to the All-Star team so you can obviously tell that the guy is doing well right now.

If those numbers won’t convince you to bring him into the fold, I don’t know what will.

My fingers are crossed but if Jeff Luhnow can pull this deal off and fight the Los Angeles Dodgers

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off his back, this will be one of the greatest home runs he has hit at the trade deadline, right up there with acquiring Verlander at the now-defunct August “waiver” deadline.

We’ll have to keep a watchful eye on this but if such a pact happens, put me first among those in line to order his Houston Astros jersey in bright orange.

There may even be a slight “situation” on what number he’d wear — Jake Marisnick has worn No. 6 since he has been with team so unless a deal is made between the two, Stroman will likely have to wear No. 3 or No. 8 — last to be worn by Tucker (ironically) and Colin Moran (respectively).

We all know that Nos. 5 and 7 — Stroman wore No. 7 during his college days at Duke — are synonymous with Houston Astros‘ baseball royalty and there’s no way in hell he’ll be wearing either of those numbers.  So if I were a betting man, it’d be No. 8 that he’d choose.

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But you know what?  I’ll worry about such a thing when it actually happens because the fight for his services is far from over.

My daydreaming stops now.

Let’s hope for the best — go Houston Astros!