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They gave Stroman away—why didn’t the Twins buy: a conspiracy theory

Okay, maybe I’m stretching here, but its a lot of fun to imagine

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Yesterday the Toronto Blue Jays traded Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets for basically nothing. The deal was for the Mets number four and number six overall prospects, both pitchers. This would be like the Twins giving up Jhoan Duran and Blayne Enlow to get a late-20’s, arbitration eligible star pitcher. So, why didn’t the Twins get involved?

I have absolutely no information that proves my crazy conspiracy theory, but I am still going to float it out there. I suspect the Twins needed this trade to happen this way. The Mets have made it fairly clear that trading for Stroman is a prologue to moving one of their other starters—most likely Noah Syndergaard. Zach Wheeler could also be in this conversation, although he would be a rental for an acquiring team, and not hold as much value.

But, what if the Twins had the bones of a deal in place for acquiring Syndergaard? The Mets would clearly need another starter to take his place, and may have wanted to finalize the Stroman deal before finishing off a trade to move Thor. If the Twins are willing to give up a package headlined by Graterol, and containing another top-30 organizational player that would more than make up for the prospects the Mets lost, while also being reasonable value on the Twins end.

The Twins could also ask the Mets to add a highly-regarded reliever such as Edwin Diaz or Seth Lugo to the deal. The prospect cost would likely be a bit higher, of course, but the Twins have the capital to make that kind of move, and it would fit well with the team needs. Having Taylor Rogers as a closer, and Sergio Romo already lined up as a set-up man; adding one more reliever would be ideal.

If the Twins did want to acquire another starting pitcher while also limiting the options of their competition, this is a bold way to do so. While Cleveland has great starters, the Yankees do not. They are clearly not just competition in the playoffs, but also in the deadline derby. The Mets clearly do not want to deal players across town, so by acquiring Stroman, that took away one of the Yankees top options, and drove up the price for the rest (supply/demand economics.) Assuming that the Mets won’t deal with the Yankees, Cashman will now pretty much be limited to dealing with Detroit or Texas for a high end starter. Do they really want to trade for Lance Lynn at the deadline two years in a row? Okay, maybe I’m the one who would do that.

So, if Falvine saw an opportunity to not only acquire a high-end starter, but also limit the options of their biggest rival, would they take it? They just might, because they are playing three-dimensional chess, while the rest of us are playing checkers.

Alternatively, maybe Brodie Van Wagenen with the Mets is just Mets-ing things up. I guess we will know in a few days.


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