Marcus Stroman has pitched exceptionally well this season, and that could lead to a challenging decision for the Cubs in the next two months.
Stroman will be a free agent following the season. As a decent veteran starter on an expiring deal, he always was going to be an appealing trade piece. But he’s pitched so well that if the Cubs make him available, he could be the top arm on the market.
Through 13 starts this season, Stroman has a 6-4 record with a 2.39 ERA. His 79 innings pitched and 1.000 WHIP both lead the National League.
Numbers like that could result in a haul going back to Chicago. Appealing as that might be, at this point it’s too early to declare the Cubs a seller. If they took that route, it could deflate a group building for the future. Further, given the weak National League Central, it’s conceivable that they will still be in the hunt once August rolls around.
Audacy MLB Insider Jon Heyman made clear Monday on “The Mully & Haugh Show” that if the Cubs do elect to move Stroman, they would 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.”