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.
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