Crickets have surrounded former Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman's free agency this off-season as he has rarely been mentioned in rumors.
That's not to say that teams haven't been interested in Stroman but it's worth pointing out that the starting pitcher left $21MM on the table after opting out of his previous deal with the Cubs. Injuries and inconsistency during the second half of the season in 2023 seemed to make it a foregone conclusion that Stroman would exercise his option for the 2024 season.
The fact that Stroman didn't may have been an indicator that his decision to leave the Cubs may have been due to reasons not related to money. The Cubs are not expected to circle back to Stroman at any point this off-season but the veteran starting pitcher has finally surfaced in a rumor.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the Kansas City Royals have expressed an interest in Stroman.
It will be interesting to see what type of deal that Stroman lands in free agency.
During the first half of the 2023 season, Stroman was lining himself up to be one of the best-starting pitchers on the free-agent market this winter while also being an early candidate for the National League Cy Young Award. Stroman posted a 2.96 ERA in 112.2 innings pitched during the first half of the season. The second half of the season is where things fell off track for Stroman as he posted an 8.63 ERA in 24 innings pitched.
A short-term deal with the Royals could allow for Stroman to re-establish his value with a chance to cash in next off-season. However, given the Royals' situation, Stroman would likely be a flip candidate at the MLB Trade Deadline next season.