(Audacy) Cubs ace Marcus Stroman has pitched exceptionally well this season, and that could lead to a challenging decision for the team in the next two months.
Stroman can opt out of his contract to become a free agent following the season, a move he's almost certain to make given how well he has performed. As a good veteran starter on an expiring deal, Stroman always was going to be an appealing trade piece, but he has pitched so well that if the Cubs make him available, he could be the top arm on the market.
In 13 starts, Stroman is 6-4 with a 2.39 ERA. His 79 innings pitched and 1.00 WHIP both lead the National League.
Numbers like that could result in a haul going back to the Cubs, but in a weak NL Central, they could still be in the hunt once August rolls around and want to hang on to him. Beyond that, the Cubs could also try to reach a long-term extension with Stroman before the deadline arrives.
On the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday, Audacy Sports MLB insider Jon Heyman made clear that if the Cubs do elect to move Stroman, they'd get a nice return.
“The guy has performed incredibly this year, I mean he’s been one of the best pitchers in the league and has really helped keep them in it,” Heyman said. “I would say the general-out-there attitude probably means if he does get traded, I think the Blue Jays and the Mets are probably not candidates to take him back. But, I think that on-field stuff isn’t going to cause anyone else to hesitate if they do trade him.
“And again, I’m not wishing they become a seller. If they do, they would get a lot for him. He’s been great.”