After the first half of the 2023 Major League Baseball season that saw Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman drawing consideration for being the National League Cy Young Award winner, it appeared to be a foregone certainty that Stroman would be opting out of his current deal and become a free agent this winter.
Under his current contract with the Cubs, Stroman is set to earn $21MM next season but his success during the first half of the season figured to net him more on the open market.
It has been a disastrous second half of the season for Stroman as a fractured rib has limited him to only 22 innings pitched since the All-Star break and he has posted an 8.59 ERA during that stretch.
With the injury and second-half struggles, it seemed that Stroman likely would think twice about opting out of his current deal with the Cubs. In fact, the expectation now is that Stroman will indeed play out his current contract with the team.
Bob Nightengale of the USA Today provided that confirmation on Sunday.
"Chicago Cubs starter Marcus Stroman, who was planning to opt out of the final year of his contract that will pay him $21 million next season, now is expecting to stay in Chicago without an extension. "- USA Today
Stroman returned to the Cubs' starting rotation this past weekend and allowed three runs in three innings of work against the Colorado Rockies.
Stroman returning the Cubs next season with a $21MM price tag is not going to be a deterence to what the team will do this winter. While some may view it as the Cubs not willing to give a shot to their emerging prospects, that isn't the case. As the Cubs saw at the beginning of this season with Hayden Wesneski, it is not the best practice to enter a season depending on a pitching prospect to find success right away.