If Stroman pitches 140 innings in 2025, he controls the option and can tack on a third year for $18 million.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 12, 2024
Stroman, who grew up on Long Island and played college ball at Duke, spent the last two years with the Cubs. He managed a 3.95 ERA in 2023 and has also spent time with the Blue Jays and crosstown rival Mets.
This is an interesting turn of events and I once again need to eat my words. Even with Sherman adding that he doesn’t think the Yankees are done, Stroman didn’t seem a primary target until recently. Guess the interest wasn’t just a courtesy after all.
The Yankees also boosted their pitching depth and re-signed Luke Weaver earlier Thursday.
In the meantime, Marcus Stroman should slot directly behind Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon in the rotation. Perhaps he even works his way up to the No. 2 slot and puts Rodon in more of a “big game” role at No. 3.
Add Clarke Schmidt and Nestor Cortes behind that potentially deadly trio, and the Yankees’ pitching staff is in for another strong year.
That said, there is indeed some downside to Marcus Stroman. He had a career worst 3.42 walks per nine innings (BB/9) last year and his soft contact rate dipped over four points to 13.5%. Stroman has also dealt with some injuries and isn’t a strikeout pitcher.
However, his career groundball rate (GB%) is 56.7%. That’s practically a gift in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Better yet, Cashman realizes all of this about Marcus Stroman and paid him accordingly. It’s essentially a two-year “prove-it” deal of sorts. Things either work out excellently and Stroman extends his deal one more year, or he’s traded mid-2025.
Now, let’s see the Yankees boost their bullpen.