(670 The Score) The Cubs have taken a major step toward addressing their weak starting rotation.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman has agreed to a deal to join the Cubs in free agency. He confirmed the news himself on Twitter on Wednesday evening. Stroman signed a three-year, $71-million deal, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported. He'll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. The contract includes an opt-out after the second season and also $2-million escalator clauses in 2022 and 2023 for Stroman hitting the 160-inning threshold, Passan reported.
Stroman, 30, had a strong 2021 season for the Mets, posting a 3.02 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 179 innings across 33 starts. He projects to slot in as one of the top-end starters on the Cubs’ staff, which is largely unproven behind veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Stroman’s consistency as a strong performer and his durability and track record of eating innings addresses a serious need for the Cubs, who also added left-hander Wade Miley in November and still have young pitchers in Keegan Thompson, Adbert Alzolay and Justin Steele in the mix for rotation spots.
Stroman has a 3.63 ERA across seven MLB seasons. He was an All-Star in 2019 before opting out of playing in 2020 during the pandemic. The Blue Jays selected him at No. 22 overall in the first round of the 2012 MLB amateur draft.
"Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities," Stroman wrote in another tweet. "Culture and passion everywhere. Beyond excited to pitch in front one of the best fan bases in all of sports. Thank you to everyone in the city for the warm welcome. I can feel it. Let’s get to work!"
Cubs starters posted a 5.27 ERA in 2021, which ranked 27th out of 30 teams in MLB.