Marcus Stroman: Good or Bad Option for the New York Yankees?

Marcus Stroman Good or Bad Option for the Yankees?
D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports

The Major League Baseball offseason draws closer to its eventual end, and the New York Yankees still need a quality pitcher to add to their starting rotation. A fair amount of names remain on the free agent board, like National League CY Young recipient Blake Snell and the recent World Series Championship-winning Jordan Montgomery. Teams have also placed quality pitchers on the trade block, including Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox, Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Jesus Luzardo of the Miami Marlins, among others. One name that has been mentioned as of late is Marcus Stroman.

Entering the offseason at No. 8 on the free agent market, Stroman most recently pitched with the Chicago Cubs before declining $21 million remaining on his contract. He’s searching for what could be the final multi-year deal of his career. Fresh off of his second all-star campaign, Stroman contributed towards a 3.95 ERA, 113 ERA+, while cultivating a 2.29 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The soon-to-be 33-year-old did fail to eclipse the 150-inning threshold for the second straight year, though, totaling 138.2 IP (2022) & 136.2 IP (2023).

Bob Nightengale originally reported on Jan. 7th that Stroman had contacted the Yankees to inform the club that he was “seriously interested” in joining the roster. Still, the team had declined to make an offer. The most recent development, though, also per Bob Nightengale, is that there is mutual interest between the two parties that began in November during the GM Meetings.

Marcus Stroman’s Troubled History with the Yankees

Yankees fans are no strangers to Stroman’s play or off-field antics. He began his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, making his Major League debut in 2014 and sporting a 3.76 ERA over six years with the ball club. Stroman was dramatically traded to the New York Mets in July 2019. Reportedly, he had initially believed that he had been traded to the Yankees, but after finding out that he was instead going to be a Met, he launched into a tantrum in the Blue Jays clubhouse.

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Reporters later asked Brian Cashman why he did not pursue Stroman at the trade deadline – the Yankee GM answered by saying that Stroman “wouldn’t be a difference maker” and would end up pitching out of the bullpen in October. Ever since Cashman passed on the New York-born pitcher and made those statements, Stroman has been seen publicly attacking the Yankees organization and fans through his Twitter/X account.

However, Stroman has reportedly deleted all his anti-Yankee tweets and appears open to joining the organization once more.

Bury the Hatchet or Look Elsewhere?

Stroman seems to be a solid fit as a reliable No. 3 or No. 4 starter in the rotation. Over 9-years in the league, he has amassed a 3.65 ERA, 116 ERA+, and continues to generate ground balls in excess. Will Yankees leadership bury the hatchet and bring Stroman to the Bronx? It wouldn’t be the first time the club brought in a player disliked by fans. Or have Stroman’s off-the-field antics severed ties with the organization for good? Yankees fans may be getting an answer to these questions very soon.

Jacob P.M.

Covering the New York Yankees - Find me on X/Twitter: @JacobBSpeaks

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