CHICAGO – The team’s first major splash of their offseason has come in a major area of need for the club: Starting pitching, and they’ve got a player who’s shown his ability to excel in that role.
On Wednesday, it was the player himself that broke the news that he’s headed to the Cubs.
Pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted just before 6 PM central time that he will be joining the Cubs for the 2022 season.
The Cubs later made the signing official, with Stroman getting a three-year contract that according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network is worth $71 million with an op-out after two years at $50 million.
The starter has played seven major league seasons with the Blue Jays and the Mets, with his last two coming in New York. Stroman led the majors in starts with 33 in 2021, compiling a 10-13 record but sporting a strong 3.02 ERA with 158 strikeouts compared to 44 walks.
That strikeout total was just one off his career-high which he set in 2019, but his amount of walks dropped by 14.
Stroman enters a rotation that remains in flux with Kyle Hendricks and waiver wire pick-up Wade Miley set as the only two starters before the signing. Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, Justin Steele, and Keegan Thompson all figure to be in competition to fill out the rotation.
A first round pick out of Duke University by the Blue Jays in 2012, Stroman made his debut in Toronto in 2014, finishing 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA as primarily a starter. A torn ACL would limit him to just four starts in 2015 but he won them all and finished with a 1.67 ERA in those outings. In 2016 he was 9-10 with a 4.37 ERA.
After winning World Baseball Classic MVP in the Winter of 2017, Stroman would finish 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA that season for the Blue Jays. The next season he would deal with a few injuries as his record slipped to 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA in 19 outings.
He’d rebound in the first half of the 2019 season as his 3.18 ERA through June earned him his first All-Star selection. Later in July, he was traded to the Mets where he posted a 4-2 record with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts.
Stroman decided to opt-out of the 2020 pandemic-shortened season.