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Amid his many self-congratulatory statements on social media, Marcus Stroman’s best was probably this random tweet from March of this year:

“My chef told me that my energy and aura make her want to walk beside me in life.”

If you wanted to distill into one sentence the thing that made some people crazy about the Toronto Blue Jays’ loudest presence, and what made others simply crazy, that’s it right there. The man did not lack for confidence.

What he did lack was usefulness.

Stroman, 28, was a good pitcher on a very bad team and about to become very expensive. So the Jays did the thing they are the best in baseball at – they ran him out of town in an excruciating soap opera that went on for months.

According to multiple reports, there was a final kick in the butt as Stroman was shown the door. For weeks, he’d been linked to a series of contending teams – the Houston Astros and his hometown New York Yankees prime among them. In the end, Stroman will end up on the sad-sack New York Mets. Good luck spin-tweeting that one into a positive.

Stroman’s six-year stint in Toronto perfectly coincides with the Jays’ recent rise and fall. He is in many ways the team’s representative player of the modern era.

He was a hero in the 2015 playoff run, coming back ahead of schedule from an ACL injury to overperform in the postseason. At that point, you’d have said Stroman – only 24 years old – was the keystone of the Jays’ future. He was a player you could build around.

But as the team charted a course to nowhere – neither good enough to contend nor bad enough to rebuild – Stroman lost his way in the world.

He warred with his best friend on the team, Aaron Sanchez. He fumed about being put through the embarrassment of salary arbitration. He routinely, if subtly, rubbished the organization in public.

He raged constantly about being overlooked and undervalued – none of which made much sense. The kid was a first-round draft pick.

If he had a superpower beyond throwing a ball, it was tone deafness. Such as the time he went woo-hooing around the internet about winning a Gold Glove a few hours after Roy Halladay died. Or the time he called his own team “terrible” (which it was and is) and then blamed the media for perverting his intent (apparently, he’d meant “terrible right now” – maybe the first time in history a pitcher has used Zeno’s Paradox as an excuse).

All of which is to say Stroman seemed incapable of helping himself. If he’d been a more likeable character, it would’ve been harder to trade him. But however much they liked his pitching, most people could sense that Stroman was probably a handful.

You know where handfuls thrive? On winners.

Stroman never got that people tired of him talking about being his best self when the result of all that bragging was steady losing. The losing often wasn’t his fault – and certainly wasn’t this season – but people don’t like losers. And like all of his now former teammates, Stroman had become one of those.

In return for Stroman, the Jays reportedly got two decent minor-league pitchers. Will they be any good? It’s baseball. No one has any clue. The answer is always, “Let’s hope so. Call us in five years.” In Toronto, you can add “… when we’re trying to trade him” to that formulation.

You know what the Jays are now? The Tampa Bay Rays. They are a team that’s hoping to get competitive through the draft and cheap trades. In other words, they’re putting their organizational faith in hitting a winning lottery ticket.

That may work. It’s possible that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the soon-to-arrive Bo Bichette are the Jeter and Rodriguez of their generation. But it’s more possible they aren’t. As such, this kid-power approach isn’t a viable plan. It’s a gamble that sounds like a plan.

The real plan is working out quite nicely – turning this team into the dollar store of Major League Baseball. The Jays have all the same stuff as an up-market department store such as the Yankees, but theirs isn’t any good.

It’s conceivable that by Wednesday’s trade deadline, every Jay who makes a decent buck will be gone. All will be replaced by newbies or scrubs or newbie scrubs. By September, it is probable Toronto will be the worst team in baseball. Of the past 20 years.

In any decent market, the trading of an under-control pitcher in his prime such as Stroman for a pair of prospects would cause upset. Especially given Stroman’s constant banging on about how much he loves the city. He went so far as to get Toronto’s skyline tattooed on his stomach.

I was born in this city, love this city and would be about as likely to get an image of this city tattooed on my body as one of dogs playing poker.

Neither competence nor his frantic efforts at Canadiana could help Stroman. He was tossed off like the recycling.

Now imagine you are Guerrero and Bichette. Let us say that some day you are the star the Jays hope you will be. By that point, you’ll be in a position to determine your own future. Then it becomes a question of loyalty.

What lessons have you learned in Toronto? That when the going got tough and the profit margins slipped, everyone was expendable. Even the guy most associated with the team. None of this was done cleanly. Toronto has been trading Stroman for more than a year. Stroman made damn sure everyone knew how poorly handled the process was.

Getting rid of Stroman has no effect on the Jays in the near term. They’ll be a little worse, which no one will notice.

But long term, we’ll see if this was one of those ugly transactions that scar an organization’s reputation in ways that only become apparent in six or seven years.

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