Cubs have a recent history of free agent pitchers starting slow

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Cubs: John Lackey came for jewelry, and he ended up getting it

John Lackey was signed mainly for his postseason experience prior to the 2016 season. Lackey was very familiar with Wrigley Field as he had spent the last few seasons with the Cardinals. His tenure with the Cubs would be his last as a professional.

In April 2016 he made four starts and pitched to a 4.97 ERA, .266 average against and 25 hits in 25 1/3 innings. Two of those starts saw him surrender six earned runs. There was worry that he might be showing age, but he aged like fine wine the rest of the season. May onward he pitched to a 3.09 ERA, 3.89 FIP and .210 average against in 25 starts. He eventually got that jewelry he wanted as the Cubs went on to win it all.

Lackey did not have the most stellar seasons in 2017, but he still finished his Cubs tenure with a 3.94 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 359 innings. His second and final year he was 38 years old and pretty much did what he needed to do to help get the Cubs their elusive title.

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Obviously, just because these guys did one thing does not mean it will go exactly the same for Stroman. This is just worth noting before writing off an All-Star pitcher. Right now, the hope is Stroman rebounds just like these others did. Hopefully sooner than later.