NEW YORK – If you think the baseball rumor, which is hot and heavy these days with the July 31 deadline approaching quickly, the Yankees' quest to add quality to their rotation before August could make the opener Sunday's opposition is his big acquisition in the season.
And according to the Toronto Sun, Long Island native All-Star pitcher Marcus Stroman knows they're trading him and he really wants the Yankees to establish an agreement with their Toronto Blue Jays 35-58.
"Stroman is a New Yorker," wrote Sun columnist Steve Simmons. "He wants to be a Yankee, he thinks he's destined for this stage and this place and he hopes to convince the Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, that it's worth pursuing him."
It's worth going with Stroman, but at what price. According to reports, the Jays are looking for a big return for Stroman, a 28-year right that can not become a free agent until after the 2020 season.
If Toronto is looking to hit a grand slam and leverage second baseman All-Star Gleyber Torres of the Yankees for Stroman … well, that's laughable.
Stroman is a good pitcher who is having a very good season, but he is not an ace. And if the Yankees' current starters pitch to their capacity as J.A. Happ has in his last two starts, then Stroman can not be better than a No. 5 behind Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Happ and Domingo German, and ahead of CC Sabathia.
So, what about Stroman for outfielder Triple A A Clint Frazier?
That at least seems fair to both parties, which is what is usually needed to make a deal.
In any case, Cashman is intrigued by Stroman, who is 5-9 with a 3.18 ERA in 18 starts this season.
The Yankees will have a good view on Sunday when Stroman starts with the Jays in the rubber game of a weekend series at Yankee Stadium.
What makes Stroman, who is one of baseball's shortest pitchers with 5-foot-8, so tough on hitters?
Yankees manager Aaron Boone referred to that before Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Jays.
"Obviously, he's very athletic on the mound," Boone said. "That lends itself to its launch. He places his position incredibly well. You can really sink the ball. He is a guy who generates, when he is at the top of his game, a weak contact. He puts the ball on the ground and can make the ball move in many ways. Obviously, he's having a very good year for them this year. "
Indeed. Stroman has allowed one or no earned career in nine of its 18 starts, three or fewer in all but three.
As for Stroman's view of his situation, he has been avoiding the New York media so far this weekend, since he was not available for interviews on Friday or Saturday. He will speak after his start on Sunday and may address his status as Blue Jay who could join the Yankees before the calendar changes.
But the Yankees do compete for Stroman because many other contenders are also looking to add initial pitches. The Minnesota Twins, leaders of the Eastern League, are supposedly in the mix. The Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies, among others, could also run in Stroman.
Meanwhile, the Yankees and the other contenders will continue to explore the rest of the pitchers they are buying, such as the intriguing ace of San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner and the left-hander of the Detroit Tigers, Matthew Boyd, among others.
But Stroman will be in the limelight on Sunday because his price could go up or down depending on how he faces a Yankees lineup that is hungry to score a lot of runs after getting to one of them for the first time. Saturday season.
Randy Miller can be reached in firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook.