The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching, and as contending teams start to jockey for position to land the biggest names on the market, teams in seller mode have begun the process of creating a bidding war to land the best possible return for their departing stars.
There are a number of ways to jumpstart that process, such as leaking a who’s-who of rival teams to increase the number of potential suitors, or say, floating out the idea that maybe the best pitcher on the market isn’t on the market after all.
With that in mind, the water around a potential deal for Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman got chummed a little bit on Thursday evening with this tidbit from Andy Martino of SportsNet New York.
Source: Blue Jays have told interested teams that they might not trade Stroman, but extend him. Unclear if this is a res possibility or a negotiating tactic— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 25, 2019
Sure, a possible trade of Stroman has been talked about non-stop for the entire season. And sure, Stroman himself has repeatedly said that the team hasn’t even bothered to make him an actual extension offer, but maybe this has all been a long con to set up a deal that keeps the 28-year-old in Toronto long term.
Or, it’s also possible that this is a fairly transparent ploy to continue driving up the market value for a big-game pitcher under contract through 2020 that is in the middle of a career year.
While there are certainly plenty of Blue Jays fans that are likely delighting by the idea that Stroman may yet stick around to pitch for the team for years to come, it seems far more likely that the front office is doing its best to plant as many seeds of doubt as they can in the minds of any contender that remains unwilling to part with their most coveted prospects to acquire him.
More Blue Jays coverage from Yahoo Sports