Chicago Cubs Rumors: Marcus Stroman viewed as most likely Cubs player to be traded

A prediction from The Athletic has Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman as being the most likely player on the team to be traded at the MLB Trade Deadline.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

All is quiet on the Marcus Stroman front for the Chicago Cubs.

Stroman has expressed his desire to remain with the Cubs on a long-term deal but the silence emanating from the team's front office would seem to suggest that the team has other ideas.

That would be the reason why there may be a strong chance that the Cubs try and thread the needle at the deadline in the sense that they move Stroman but hang onto Cody Bellinger as they look to remain in contention this season.

The Athletic ran down the list of players most likely to be traded from each team at the deadline and it should be no surprise that Stroman was the player mentioned for the Cubs.

"Stroman has stood on metaphorical mountaintops yelling how much he’d love an extension with the club, but if he’s heard anything in response, it’s been an echo. The Cubs have shown no inclination to bring him back. Not only is Stroman a free agent after the season, the 30-year-old accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer following the 2020 season so the Cubs are not able to offer him a qualifying offer and thus unable to receive compensation if he signs elsewhere. Trading him, though, would bring some compensation, and there’s a lack of starting pitching on the market. And if he loves Chicago that much, a reunion could be discussed free agency."

The Athletic

The Cubs' silence on the Stroman front may also be indicative of the team's plans for 2024.

Stroman, assuming health and production for the rest of the season, is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Instead of earning $21MM for 2024, Stroman will aim higher. That could be where the disconnect lies for the Cubs.

Stroman performing at an 80-percentile-WAR level as he was during the first half of the season should not be the expectation moving forward and we have begun to see that regression.

Stroman has a 6.46 ERA over the course of his last 5 starts and has 27 hits and 12 walks through 23.2 innings pitched. No, Stroman is not that bad but what we are seeing is a regression to the mean, and the reason why if the Cubs are going to be willing to go past $21MM-AAV for a pitcher, they may try their luck with a free agent such as Aaron Nola or Julio Urias.

Unlike with Bellinger, where the Cubs clearly be looking for keeping him for the long-term, Stroman may be reaching the end of the road with the Cubs. That likely is the driving force to the idea of the Cubs moving Stroman at the deadline and if done in the right deal, the team can remain in contention at the same time.

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