Marcus Stroman: Toronto – Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
The final name on this list is the name I really, desperately, emphatically want the Astros to pursue.
Stroman rolls with a 2-Seam Fastball that he uses to get a ton of ground outs. It tops out at 93 MPH and also spins at a 2,356 RPM rate. He also uses a slider, cutter, and changeup to keep hitters off balanced and drive the ball into the dirt. His average exit velocity is 88 MPH, something the Astros brass likes to find in pitchers.
He reminds me so much of Dallas Keuchel circa 2017, in the sense of keeping the ball on the ground and in the ballpark. He has only given up ten home runs over 104 innings pitched this year.
His strikeouts are low, but again, he is known more as a groundball pitcher. Something Charlie Morton was known for before coming to Houston. Fans saw how that strikeout total began to rise while Uncle Charlie was here.
At 28 years old, his final contract is up after next season and he is only due $7 million this year. He is wanting to sign long term, and what better player to sign long term than a cheap ground ball pitcher?
During his five year career, he has a 3.81 ERA and has proven to go 200+ innings every season, save last year due to injury.
His only flaw is his ability to not get out left-handed batters, as lefties have feasted on Stroman to the tune of a .277 average. With runners in scoring position, he has given up a higher average of hits (.299 average), however, that could be due to the lack of defensive ability behind him. The Toronto Blue Jays are in a huge rookie campaign.
The package to pry him away from Toronto would be minimal too. Considering he would be tagged as a “rental”, due to this being the last year of his contract. It’s a win-win situation for the Astros to pull this trigger. You could get away with not even giving up your top 3 prospects.