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Discussing the Stroman/Giles trade rumors with Bluebird Banter

Let’s look a little more into what a trade might entail

2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Since MLBTR reported the other day that the Twins are one of the teams discussing a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles, I’ve been thinking about what that trade might be like. I reached out to Tom over at Bluebird Banter, our sister site for the Jays, to find out a bit more information from someone plugged in on that side. I also answered some questions for Tom, which can be found here.

1. What kind of return would it take from the Twins to get Stroman and Giles? What if they just wanted one or the other? The only prospects we have who are likely to be completely untouchable are Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff.

The Blue Jays are stacked with hitting prospects, they are low on starting pitching prospects. I’m expecting the Jays will want two good starting pitching prospects for Stroman, guys who will be major league ready but 2021 and who could slot into the 2 or 3 spots of a rotation that could stand up to the Red Sox and Yankees.

On the Giles side….again they will be looking for starting pitching first and foremost. I wouldn’t expect they would get the same offers for Giles. But they need pitching, so teams interested in trading with them should lead with pitching prospects.

If the Twins don’t have or don’t want to give up the enough pitching prospects to please the Jays’ front office, perhaps a good first baseman prospect would help, but pitching is what would get a trade done.

I think they would like to get a bidding war going on both.

2. Ken Giles is well known for melting down in the postseason with the Astros, and has lost the closer role previously as well. Is there anything specific that Toronto has fixed or changed for Giles to make him a more reliable option, or should we be concerned, as the bullpen is our scariest component of the team right now.

I don’t think the Jays have done anything special, except for showing faith in him and not overreacting when he has does have a bad outing (which has been very rare). Giles has said how much more comfortable he has been in Toronto. He’s like an old time closer, maybe a bit temperamental. I think he likes when the team has faith in him and questions himself when the team does. Like many closers, he’s best went he has no doubts in himself.

3. Giles has been great this season though, what has made him successful?

Nothing surprising, a 99 mph fastball and 87 mph slider. He just overpowers. Once in a blue moon someone makes good contact, and the ball goes back the other way pretty hard., but he’s striking out 43% of batters who face him, up from 25% last year, do that and you will be a success. I do expect him to regress a bit towards his career numbers, but there is a long way to regress before he would be anything less than good.

4. The Twins need a high-end, reliable starter. Jose Berrios is in that category, and Jake Odorizzi is having a career year, Plus Kyle Gibson, who has been reliably good for a couple years, but one more solid starter would set them up well for the playoffs. The numbers suggest that Stroman could be this guy--maybe not a playoff ace, but certainly that second or third guy you give the ball to. Is this the case, and what can we expect from him if the Twins do trade for him?

Marcus is smart. He does a lot of things to throw off the opposing batter’s timing. And he likes the spotlight. He is a ton of fun to watch. He enjoys having eyes on him.

I honestly think he would be your ace. He has a 3.18 ERA in a ballpark that is very hitter friendly. He’ll pitch late into games. He wants to pitch late into games.

5. On the Stroman topic, I believe he has one more year under team control after this season, right? Has he given any indication of what it would take for a team to sign him long term?

He has mentioned that he would like the Jays to make a long-term offer but hasn’t mentioned what he could be looking to get. I’d imagine that he’ll be wanting that big, 5-year contract, to set him for like. He’s 28, so this next contract will be the one big one he can get.

I really would prefer that the Jays sign him to that big contract, instead of trading him. I think it would be smart to have that one sure thing at the top of the rotation for the next few years. I don’t think there is a huge need to trade him, they can wait it out and see if they can get a particularly good offer. Maybe it is just a personal thing, I’ve enjoying watching his career, I’m not ready to stop watching yet.

He has talked, recently, about how much he’d like to pitch for the Yankees. He’s from the New York area and like I mentioned he likes to have a lot of eyes watching him. He has a pretty big ego. I do think that, if he is traded, he might decide he wants to try free agency so he can have some choice about where he ends up. I know free agency hasn’t been the sure thing it once was, but I think Marcus believes in himself and believes someone would want him.

6. Anything else I should have asked you about these guys, or the trade rumors, but I totally forgot to ask?

Marcus isn’t a big guy, but he has a big personality. He does rub some people the wrong way. I imagine that, if I was in a clubhouse with him for 6 months at a time, I’d want to be at the opposite end of it from him. But then I’m pretty much at the opposite end of the personality chart from him. I haven’t heard that he isn’t anything less than a good teammate, but I’m sure he would grate on the nerves at some point.

Thanks again, Tom for your great answers!


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