Marcus Stroman agrees with the Yankees
The Yankees have agreed to a two-year, $37 million free agent contract with right-hander Marcus Stroman that includes an option for a third season, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. Stroman also posted a photo of himself in a Yankees uniform on his Instagram stories.
The club is yet to confirm the deal, which is still subject to the results of medical tests.
This isn't the first time Stroman has been linked to the Yankees. In 2019, New York showed interest in his services before the trade deadline. At the time, Stroman was with the Blue Jays and dreamed of playing for the Bronx Bombers. Stroman is originally from Medford, New York, less than two hours from the Bronx.
“I'm from New York, I'm a New York guy. That says it all,” Stroman said at the time. “I love throwing [en el Yankee Stadium]. New York is like the Mecca of the world. I like excitement, bright lights, competition, pressure. I have always loved pitching here. I didn't play well. But I always enjoyed it. Yankees lineups are brutal. They are a little difficult to navigate. I like attention. As big as that moment was, that's what I wanted to be.
Stroman has been a consistently above-average starter for most of his career since debuting with the Blue Jays in 2014. His ERA+ has not been lower than 113 (13% better than average) in any of the past four seasons. He posted 113 last season, which looked like the best year of his career for the 32-year-old pitcher. He maintained a 2.28 ERA and .536 opponents' OPS in his first 16 starts with the Cubs, leading to his second All-Star Game appearance.
However, Stroman's 2023 campaign took a nosedive in July, allowing 27 earned runs in 26.2 innings that month before going on the injured list on August 2 with inflammation in his right groin. Stroman's return to the mound was delayed by a fractured cartilage in his right rib, and upon rejoining the Cubs on September 15, he pitched just eight innings in four relief appearances to finish the year. He finished with a 3.95 ERA, the second-highest mark of his career.
The injuries dropped Stroman's innings total below 140 for the second straight season. In 2022, he missed a month due to right shoulder inflammation and more than two weeks due to a bout with Covid-19.
Before that, Stroman was one of the most durable pitchers in baseball. He surpassed 180 innings three times in four seasons between 2016 and 2019. He surpassed 200 innings with the Blue Jays in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. That final season, he won the Gold Glove Award and finished in the top 10 in American League Cy Young Award voting.
After being selected to his first All-Star Game in 2019, Stroman was traded from the Blue Jays to the Mets, where he played through 2021. He missed all of 2020 with a torn left calf muscle and later withdrew due to Covid. August -19 concerns.
Stroman, who typically has below-average strikeout rates, has always relied on his singer to induce plenty of ground balls and limit truly damaging contact. In the first four years of his career his ground ball rate was over 60% and never dipped below 50%. He finished 2023 with 57%, his best number since 2018.