There was a sense of surprise over the weekend when news broke that starting pitcher Marcus Stroman opted out of his current deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Stroman could have earned $21MM with the Cubs for the 2024 season but opted to test free agency instead. Considering the struggles that Stroman had during the second half of the season along with injury, there was an expectation that the starting pitcher would opt into the final year of his deal with the hope of cashing in the next off-season.
Instead, Stroman is now a free agent and it would appear that the Cubs do not have an interest in bringing the starting pitcher back. That was the message that was relayed to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
"The Chicago Cubs say they don’t have any intention to bring back starter Marcus Stroman after he declined his $21 million option in 2024. "- USA Today
Nightengale's report would seem to track with a thank you note that Stroman posted on Instagram on Saturday after news broke of him opting out.
It would seem that in the weeks leading up to the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, there was s shift in the relationship between Stroman and the team's front office. That is not to say that either side was particularly wrong in how they handled the trade rumors involving Stroman but the messaging from each side would seem to indicate that there was a miscommunication or two.
It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that now, with Stroman opting out, the Cubs do not have an interest in bringing him back. It would seem that Stroman and the Cubs were not close in regard to contract negotiations in-season and it's unlikely that would change this off-season.