The Chicago Cubs are in a position on Sunday that would result in a weekend sweep of the San Francisco Giants and would salvage their west coast road trip with a record of 5-5 over the span of games against the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, and Giants.
The Cubs have been teetering on the verge of firmly becoming sellers ahead of the Major League Baseball trade deadline and that has led to teams circling around starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. Stroman is making a strong case to be the starting pitcher for the National League during this season's All-Star games and while he has expressed a clear desire to remain with the team, he confirmed on Saturday that the team has yet to engage with his representatives regarding a potential contract extension.
The latest team to have rumored interest in Stroman is none other than the team that the Cubs are playing this weekend, the Giants. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic speculated that Stroman would be near the top of the Giants' wish list at the trade deadline and it stems from their interest in the starting pitcher prior to the 2022 season.
"The Giants were runners-up in the free-agent courting of Stroman, who signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs before last season. It’s a mutual admiration society, too. Stroman gushed over his experience with the Giants, telling USA Today in the spring of 2022 that the organization “is headed for great, great things. The people from the top down are incredible. They’re with it, man.”- Andrew Baggarly via The Athletic
“I would love it at some point down the road to be a part of that team.”"
The Cubs are currently 5.5 games out of first place in the National League Central division. if the team can stabilize their play during the month of June and the Milwaukee Brewers do not run away from the field, then chances are the team will be in a holding pattern at the deadline and operate under the intent of making moves along the fringes of the roster.
What the Cubs decide to do with Stroman will give a clear sense of their direction. Their direction for the remainder of this season as buyers often tend to want to acquire starting pitchers sooner as opposed to at the deadline. As well as their direction for 2024 as trading Stroman would not entirely fall in line with next season opening their contention window.