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Surveying the Marcus Stroman market after possible final Blue Jays start

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TORONTO – If that’s it for Marcus Stroman in Toronto, he went out in style.

He was at his best against Cleveland Wednesday, throwing seven innings of one-run baseball against a likely playoff team. He struck out six, walked just one and lowered his ERA to 2.96 while cementing his status as one of baseball’s top trade candidates.

At this point, it would be a surprise if Stroman makes another home start for the Blue Jays. And there’s seemingly a real chance he’ll be traded before his next scheduled outing in Kansas City Monday. So… what comes next?

Every team in the pitching market has asked about Stroman. Major-league front offices are thorough enough to inquire on everyone, and as Stroman builds on an all-star season he’s not just anyone. He’s a potential No. 2 or 3 starter on a playoff team.

Where that leads is less clear. Those in attendance Wednesday witnessed a starter at the top of his game. Maybe a motivated contender will push to complete a deal before Monday, so Stroman’s next outing helps their playoff chances.

It’s also possible buyers will prefer to slow-play the market, waiting to see if Trevor Bauer or Madison Bumgarner becomes available by July 31. In that scenario, Stroman would most likely start against the Royals Monday even if it means the Blue Jays accept some injury risk. Until someone tells Charlie Montoyo otherwise, he’s going to use his best pitcher.

Quite understandably, the Blue Jays’ ask has been high to this point, according to teams involved in the........

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