Which Stroman will the Rockies get? It’s impossible to know. While you could assume he corrected course this season, his 5.54 ERA in 2018 came just one season after finishing in the top 10 in AL Cy Young voting. He also posted a 4.04 ERA in June, which could suggest a regression to the mean.
For me this deal is eerily similar to the disastrous trade Pittsburgh pulled off at last year’s deadline, bringing in Chris Archer from Tampa Bay in return for Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. Archer has been nothing short of bad for Pittsburgh (5.49 ERA) while Meadows is an All-Star and Glasnow was 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his first eight starts for Tampa Bay this season before landing on the 60-day injured list.
Stroman has tended to have lower ERAs than Archer throughout their careers but Archer has had more strikeouts, and their career ERAs are almost identical (3.84 for Archer, 3.81 for Stroman). Also, Archer finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting in 2015 but, like Stroman, has been highly inconsistent every other season.
While Stroman has the potential to help the Rockies’ pitching staff, he will come with a high price tag that, in the end, he just might not be worth. It’s hard to predict whether he will be a success or a disaster in Colorado due to his erratic track record. It’s likely the Rockies will get some good and some bad from Stroman … but is that worth what they’d have to give up to get him?
This is likely a high-risk, medium-reward move that the Rockies might want to stray away from. At the same time, there are not a lot of pitching options available that the Rockies can afford and, unfortunately, Stroman may be the best fit.