No, the one in the middle.

It has seemed like it was imminent for a couple of days now, and it never should have been in any doubt given his college eligibility, but it’s finally official: the Jays’ draft strategy ran like a top, as they’ve now signed 22nd overall pick Marcus Stroman, the last remaining of their key early-round picks to have signed.

And who broke the news, you ask? Marcus Stroman. Oh, what a world!

I noted back on Friday that Stroman had some news for us, and again yesterday that he was on a plane somewhere, possibly Dunedin, both of which pointed to the possibility of this happening, but obviously there was no way for us to know for sure. But the thing always was, Stroman wouldn’t be doing himself any favours by not signing.

Even if he went back to school next year, stayed healty, pitched well, and moved up the draft board– none of which were givens– as a college senior he would not have had a whole lot of leverage to negotiate with the team he was drafted by. If he refused to sign whatever the club was offering, his only options would have been to go into non-affiliated baseball, like the independent leagues or Japan, and hope for yet another year of health, good performance, and that there might be a contract somewhere even farther down the line.

Clearly his best option was to take the money the Jays were offering and get his pro career started– especially since many evaluators have been saying that, if they wanted to, the club could have Stroman pitching in the Majors at some point this season, if they’re willing to use him out of the bullpen.

I tend to scoff at the notion of the Jays bringing Stroman straight up, or up very, very quickly, because I tend to believe that they’re smart enough to look out for his development first and foremost, rather than the flagging fortunes of the big league club, and that their philosophy seems to be to have pitchers remain starters for as long as possible before moving them to the bullpen. But it’s not like it would be entirely unprecedented for them to try something unorthodox with Stroman.

Chris Sale of the White Sox, for example, came up after seven minor league appearances in 2010, pitched out of the bullpen, and it doesn’t appear to have to have hindered him a lick. Mike Leake of the Reds went even straighter to the Majors, not playing a game of minor league ball, though his pro career started the year after he was the 8th pick of the 2009 draft, because of the old, late signing deadline.

I couldn’t put a guess on what his ETA is, but it would seem really out of character for the Jays to have him up almost immediately. So some fans are going to have to just keep on dreaming about this one.

Interestingly, Keith Law adds, via Twitter, that Stroman signed for $1.8-million– which is exactly slot money. So, perhaps the Jays aren’t even done, as Jim Callis tweeted yesterday that the Jays had $2,131,340 of their bonus pool left to offer him before incurring any penalties. Subtract $1.8-million, and there’s still $331K left to sign one or more of their still-unsigned post-tenth-round picks– like, as I’m sure all you maple dicks are already thinking, Whitby’s Ryan Kellogg.

Scoffing aside, though, wouldn’t it be crazy if they could work one of those guys into the equation too? I mean, it’s already looking like a stellar draft, just for how they went with so much upside early, and have now managed to actually get them all signed.

No, it doesn’t make the current team any more damn watchable, but it really is pretty terrific– especially since their whole strategy was pretty much a giant “fuck you” to the asinine restrictions placed on draft spending under the terms of the new CBA. Suck it, Bud.

 

Image via Twitter.

Comments (59)

  1. When do we think we’ll see him in the bullpen? Setting the Over/Under at Sept 1.

  2. Maple boner. What a draft, aa is steaming hot right now

  3. He will be up next time Coco has a break down…. so that would be…..

  4. That picture is of DJ Davis the first pick.

  5. I hope we hear of Carpenter being DFA’d once the signing is made official.

    And seriously, sign his dad too.

  6. So next year, assuming no extra picks – are the Jays likely to pull the same trick with signing cheap seniors in order to go over slot with top picks?

    • I’d say very likely.

    • After how well it seems to have worked, I don’t think they’re going to be the only ones.

    • May depend on how many picks you have in the first 10 rounds. We had picks to burn because we had lots of picks.

      Also depends on what other teams do. Will this strategy be optimal if all teams are doing it?

    • every draft is different every situation is different. all depends on who is still on the board and what it will take to get ‘em.

  7. Do Jays have any money left for the other rounds?

  8. Jays also sign this dudes dad to play first base.

  9. Can’t wait to see where they start him off. Probably Dunedin but wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up in New Hampshire. Considering he started this year and has thrown around 100 innings already I’m guessing he might go to the pen for the rest of the season or at worst they let him start for another month then shut him down.

    Should also be interesting to see if they promised him major league time this year in addition to his bonus though I know they don’t allow them to sign major league contracts anymore like Strasburgh got.

  10. Im really excited about this guy. The jays bullpen really needs the help.

  11. Stroman will be probably be assigned to high A and then double A. Maybe a cup of coffee in September.

    While many in the prospect community see him as a future bullpen arm due to his size, the Jays would not draft a reliever with the 22nd pick. But, its hard to ignore the scouting reports on him that suggest that his stuff is absolutely electric out of the bullpen.

    Will be interesting to see how he adjusts to pro ball and how the prospect watchers will rank him by season’s end.

  12. Surprised it took this long for him to sign for slot…..unless he tried playing hardball and AA called his bluff.

    Hope this means one or two more of the “no chance of signing unless overslot” guys signing…

    • If he has pitched 100 innings already, as another commenter said, AA was probably in no rush to get him signed.

  13. With the results of this draft strategy (pick high potential risky sign prospects), would you trade what Jays ended up with in first 3 rounds for a top 3 pick?
    DJ Davis
    Marcus Stroman
    Matt Smoral
    Mitch Nay
    Tyler Gonzales
    Chase DeJong
    Anthony Alfrord

  14. i know its early but did anyone see Gonzales ERA??? 108.00

    • It means he pitched one third of an inning and was charged with 4 runs. Is pointing out that that’s the definition of “small sample size” necessary? No? OK then.

  15. Well I’d say the Stroman signing caps off a pretty impressive draft from what all the pundits were saying a couple of weeks ago. They managed to get everyone they wanted signed without having to incur any penalties and the talent, at least according to BA, was fairly impressive.

    It certainly caps off a nice run of drafts over the last 3 years. Hard to imagine what the state of the organization would be if AA hadn’t made the change in direction he instituted when he took over.

    It’s going to be too bad that we’re not going to see anything like the past couple of drafts next year.

  16. Leake had to get sent down and had multiple issues he was working on — he seemingly has rectified them now in his last few games though…..not sure how he supports theory of rushing talent though

  17. Anthopoulos.. Much to learn, you still have. Decide you must, how to serve them best.

  18. Hypothetically, could AA go to Alford and say, “I got another $330k for you to drop football now”?

  19. He’s starting in Vancouver…

    Marcus Stroman ‏@MStrooo7

    Down here in Dunedin, FL for a couple more days then off to Vancouver, Canada! The journey begins. Love it! #HDMH #blessed

    • Great! I am definitely going to make it out to a Canadians game to see him!

    • Very surprised by that. McGuire started in high A and Jenkins started in Low A. Not seeing the upside of a college pitcher going to rookie ball with the high school kids.

      • Callis notes he hasnt pitched since mid-May. Id guess its a quick ascension. Couple starts at each stop perhaps. Maybe also skip Lansing… I doubt theyd want to mess with the rotation there.

  20. Just another feather in the cap of the brain trust that this team as collected. Now all they have to do is figure out how to rent Cole Hammels and Matt Garza for the rest of the year with out giving away prospect pitching that may actually be good.

  21. [...] As has been noted elsewhere today, the Blue Jays agreed to terms with 1st round pick Marcus Stroman today.  His signing bonus was right-on slot.  That leaves about $300K left for bonuses for any other picks that Alex Anthopolous might want to sign. [...]

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