Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman went one-on-one with TSN Blue Jays reporter Scott Mitchell ahead of Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. Here is what Stroman had to say about his future in Toronto and how he’s handling the trade rumours.
What’s the first All-Star appearance been like? (Stroman is attending all-star festivities along with his family, but not playing due to a strained pectoral muscle).
“Pretty surreal. Just trying to take in each and every moment. Pretty disappointed that I couldn’t pitch here, I really wanted to pitch on that stage against the lineup but yeah, just trying to take in every little aspect of this time.
You expressed back in February your disappointment in not being able to come to a contract extension. At this point, do you think there’s any way you could convince the Blue Jays’ front office and Ross Atkins to make you part of the long-term plan?
“Convince? I don’t think I’m in the terms. I don’t think I need to convince anybody. I think I’ve been out there performing pretty well over the last however many years. I consider myself a pretty good starting pitcher when starting pitching is a need in the league. So I just think it’s at the point where I don’t think I’m going to sign long-term. They haven’t had me in their plans for the future and I’ve come to terms with it. I’m still excited and part of the organization. I love everything about Toronto and everything about Canada, I’ve enjoyed every second I’ve been in that country. So just truly trying to enjoy the moment, focus on winning games for the Blue Jays and kind of whatever happens happens.”
Do you feel you’re dealing with trade rumours differently or better this year?
“Yeah, I think I’m in a better place mentally. And I’m truly just focused on the moment, I honestly don’t let rumours or small talk rattle me anymore. Just kind of out of sight, out of mind and I’m truly focused on my family, my friends and being the best competitor I can be on the mound every day.”
Is it fair to say at this point you might not be a Blue Jay for much longer?
“It seems that way. It seems that way. I try to keep it out of my mind because, like I said, Toronto holds a really, really special place in my heart, as does the country of Canada. I truly do love being there and everything about it but it seems like it’s not going towards that way where I’m going to be a Blue Jay for the rest of my life so mentally I just have to be prepared for that while always focusing on the moment.”
Do you crave that post-season stage again?
“Yeah who doesn’t? Do you miss it? Do you miss reporting on those games? I definitely miss that spotlight, energy and that pressure. I miss that pressure. I like that pressure knowing that you kind of knowing that you have to go out there and perform. So, like I said, whatever happens happens. I’m pretty sure people know that I want the ball in the big moment and I think they want to give me the ball in the big moment.”
When you look at your career over the next decade, no matter what uniform you’re wearing, what do you want to be remembered for?
“Just someone who went out there and competed, competed, competed. Just regardless. Battled no matter what he was going through, would go out there every fifth day and put his team in a position to win. I’ve always stayed true to myself, I’m pretty passionate, I’m pretty emotional, but those are things that I need to kind of put me at that level to compete against the best in the game. And I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at so you’re not going to see me changing anytime soon and I’m excited. I’m excited for the future. I know my work ethic, I truly, truly, truly believe that my best years are ahead of me. I really do with my stuff and my body and my mind I think the future’s going to be pretty exciting.”