Marcus Stroman is going somewhere. The Blue Jays starter is having an excellent season, putting up a 3.18 ERA for a woebegone Toronto team in the first half and earning his first all-star election. He’s also still got another arbitration-eligible year left, making him an attractive trade deadline target for: just about every good team.
Stroman knows he’s gone, saying he’s “come to terms” with it. The question is, where? The Yankees want him (and he, a Long Island native, wants the Yankees). The Twins want him. The Braves want him. The Astros want him. Everyone wants him! Stroman knows this, and he is not exactly going out of his way to quench the silly-season thirst for rumors and hints.
On Tuesday afternoon before the All-Star Game (in which Stroman did not pitch as he takes advantage of the extra rest to deal with a lingering cramp), he liked a blog post with a headline indicating his potential next destination(s).
A clue! Or at least an indication of his preferences! Yes? No. Stroman was forced to clarify that likes are not endorsements.
“I just read the article,” Stroman said. “My likes in my Twitter are articles I can go back to and articles I can reference and I happened to read the article and it was praising me. It was saying a bunch of good things. I just like it. It kind of reviewed my career. It kind of said my stats, that I’m a groundball pitcher. It said a bunch of good things. That’s kind of the reason I liked it, not necessarily because it said I was coming to the Yankees. It said the Twins, too.
“My likes are bookmarks, for sure. My likes get blown up here and there as, ‘Oh, he like this.’ But I promise you they’re usually articles I enjoy to read. I even sometimes will send them to my parents, my mom, my agent, whoever. Just an easy way, like you said, to bookmark and log everything I like.”
And so, with one fire extinguished, Stroman lit another one. On Wednesday, the most sportsless night of the year, when none of us had anything better to do but read Twitter tea leaves, Stroman tweeted this:
Around the same time—maybe coincidentally, maybe not—a rumor started circulating that the Braves and Jays had a deal in place for Stroman. Where this rumor came from, it was impossible to pinpoint. That made it the best kind of rumor: unfalsifiable. Braves fans celebrated. Yankees fans rent their garments. Jon Heyman pooped on it all:
Stroman, who is either very good at this Twitter thing, or accidentally very good at this Twitter thing, waited an hour and a half to clear up his in-retrospect-not-very-cryptic tweet.
A nice little vacation! He deserves it.
Stroman is going to be traded in the next three weeks. When it happens, I promise you it will be reported and announced in the normal way, in plain English (or French, if RDS breaks it), and will not require solving a sub-Dan-Brown–level treasure hunt to determine Stroman’s destination. Unless this Twitter like of his means he’s going to Boston.