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All eyes on Stroman as Jays return from break

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TSN Baseball Insider


Every indication is that Marcus Stroman will come out of the all-star break healthy and able to take the mound on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

That being said, I reiterate my view that his next start should be his last as a member of the Blue Jays. All he needs to do is prove that he’s healthy and throwing well. Once he proves that to interested clubs, the Jays should make their deal. They can’t risk another injury or underperformance. They’ve rebuilt Stroman’s value and can’t let it slip away.

There is no better place for Stroman to make a statement than at Yankee Stadium. He wants the Yankees to want him. A dominating outing could certainly help in that regard. It could also raise the interest of other playoff contenders because the road to the World Series may go through New York. Having a pitcher on the roster who has shut the Yankees down in their home park would be a big confidence boost heading into October.

It also makes sense for the Jays to make their deal with Stroman before the Indians make starting pitcher Trevor Bauer available. For now, there is only speculation that Cleveland is listening on Bauer.

The Jays need to force a sense of urgency and control the market while there is less supply. It makes Stroman more valuable. Clubs in need of a starter can’t miss out on Stroman and Madison Bumgarner while waiting to see if Bauer becomes available.

There’s also a chance the Mets might move starting pitchers Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard if the team doesn’t get off to a good start after the break, which would further clutter the market.

Vladdy is going to get even better

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his coming-out party in Cleveland at the Home Run Derby on Monday night. He absolutely owned the event. Even though he didn’t win, it will forever be known as the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Home Run Derby.

It didn’t matter that Guerrero was the youngest participant ever. He made a statement with 29 first-round homers, the most ever in a round. He showed his talent and competitiveness in the second round by putting up another 29 home runs, only to have Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson tie him. The two of them went three more rounds before Guerrero finally prevailed 40-39 in a remarkable battle.

Guerrero went on to lose to Mets first baseman Pete Alonso in the final........