Marcus Stroman didn't enjoy the Blue Jays' negativity at his arbitration hearing

Marcus Stroman lost his arbitration hearing and didn’t feel very good about it. (Getty Images)

Arbitration hearings have been happening all over baseball, and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman had his hearing this week. Stroman started 33 games in 2017, and pitched over 200 innings with a 3.09 ERA and 164 strikeouts, but he lost. That means he’ll be paid $6.5 million in 2018 instead of the $6.9 million he asked for.

Stroman found out about the results of the hearing on Thursday, and spent some time tweeting about his feelings. He didn’t hold back.

Arbitration hearings can be tough. Because Stroman and the Blue Jays couldn’t agree on a contract amount, the two sides had to make their argument in front of a panel of arbitrators. The Blue Jays were arguing why he should make their smaller figure instead of Stroman’s larger figure, which meant they were pointing out Stroman’s flaws. It can’t be easy to sit through a presentation in which your employer outlines every reason you should be paid less than you think you deserve.

In a way, it’s like a performance review, which is something many people have experienced. Your boss sits with you and tells you what you did well, as well as all the things you need to improve upon, and the results can impact your paycheck. Some players never have to go through it, but this was Stroman’s second time, and he clearly wasn’t thrilled with it.

It’s not that Stroman, or any baseball player, can’t deal with criticism. Baseball players are critiqued on their performance every single day. Fans and the media do it constantly. Players even do it themselves, asking their coaches and peers for advice, looking at video, and digging deep into their numbers. Even just their triple slash itself is a performance review. They’re used to seeing it and hearing it.

Arbitration hearings are different, though. It’s not the media or the fans saying it, it’s Stroman’s own team. And unlike a performance review, it’s not about his whole performance. The Blue Jays were being negative because they wanted to convince the panel that Stroman wasn’t worth the additional $400,000 he wanted, and they won. It’s so much tougher than a simple performance review. In essence, the arbitrators validated all the negative things the Jays said. The Jays presumably value Stroman, his talent, and his leadership, but when a player’s value is reduced to nothing but money and wins, there’s no room for anything else.

Stroman was obviously frustrated, but he tweeted right on through it to get to the other side of his feelings. He’s using his arbitration experience to be even better in 2018.

And it didn’t take long for Stroman to get some perspective on the experience.

If that arbitration joke (?!?) is any indication, Stroman won’t let this experience distract him from all the baseball in his future.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher