The Chicago Cubs are making a very nice addition to their pitching corps.
The rotation is, by far, one of the weakest areas on a team with several positions to improve, so they went shopping and brought in pitcher Marcus Stroman on a three-year, $71 million deal.
True to his style – he is one of the most active players on Twitter – he announced the deal himself on his official account.
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) December 1, 2021
The pact, per Jeff Passan of ESPN, includes an opt out after the second year.
Stroman will earn $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024, with $2 million escalators for 160 innings pitched during the first two years.
He will be a Cub for at least the next two years, which is more or less the time they are expected to be truly competitive again.
The Cubs Are Aiming For The Postseason
A few months have passed, yet it’s still hard to believe that the Cubs traded most of the core that made them World Champions in 2016, plus other useful pieces added in the last few years.
Yes, it’s still a tough pill to swallow for fans that saw the Cubs deal Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, Jake Marisnick, Joc Pederson, Trevor Williams, and Craig Kimbrel.
However, fans have understood it was a necessary move, since most of those players were free agents after the season and retaining all or even most of them would have been impossible.
The franchise decided to take the prospects, get a fresh start, develop some players during the second half, and give it another go in 2022.
You could say what they did was some kind of tweener between retooling and rebuilding.
However, the offseason came along, and the Cubs have been starting to convince those who didn’t believe they wanted to contend next season with some interesting moves.
Stroman gives them a much-needed rotation boost.
The 30-year-old right-hander was marvelous with the New York Mets in 2021.
Stroman Is A Nice Fit
In 33 starts and 179 innings, Stroman had a 3.02 ERA and accumulated 3.4 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
Prior to last season, he incorporated a new pitch to a repertoire highlighted by an excellent sinker: the split-change.
It helped him miss more bats and keep his ERA in the low-3.00s.
Stroman is a good fit for Wrigley Field because of his groundball tendencies: he was among the league leaders with a 50.8 groundball rate.
He is also thrilled to go to the Cubs.
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) December 2, 2021
He is a solid pitcher for a team that, in a best-case scenario and provided they can add more players after lockout, could be positioning itself for a run at the Wild Card.
You don’t go out and sign Stroman, give him more than $20 million per year, to not try to make the playoffs.
The Cubs, a team that also brought in pitcher Wade Miley, former top prospect Clint Frazier to the outfield, and catcher Yan Gomes, are showing they are actually serious about trying to play in October as soon as next year.
He raises the floor of the unit considerably, and represents a good investment by Chicago.