The Marcus Stroman era is officially over. After two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, the righty is headed for the bright lights of New York to join the Yankees on a two-year, $37 million deal. The writing was on the wall for a while that he was unlikely to re-sign on the North Side after opting out of the last year of his three-year, $71 million contract.
Although the ink's been dry on his new pact since last week, Stroman bid farewell to Cubs fans, his teammates, and the personnel that helped make his stay in Chicago fruitful on Tuesday. In an Instagram post, he thanked everyone for their support throughout his Cubs career and reflected on his time pitching in the Friendly Confines.
Stroman joined the Cubs ahead of the 2022 season, hoping to become a vital piece of the rotation as the team emerged from a quick reset. Unfortunately, that never panned out as the team never made the playoffs with him in tow, but he was far from the problem. He pitched to a 3.50 ERA in 138 2/3 innings in his first year, providing a steady presence on the mound. Thanks to a stint on the COVID-19 IL and right shoulder inflammation, he didn't give as much bulk as fans hoped, but the consistency from start to start was valuable.
While Stroman, again, only pitched 136 2/3 innings, he looked like the Cy Young frontrunner through the first half of the season. With a 2.96 ERA, he dominated while accruing accolades along the way, including his second All-Star nod and a National League Player of the Week award in June. He twirled one of the best games in recent Cubs memory too - a 105-pitch, complete game one-hit shutout against the Rays.
Unfortunately, injuries and ineffectiveness crept in and Stroman was limited to 24 innings with an 8.63 ERA in the second half. It was a bitter end to what was looking like a magical season for the righty, but it's still hard to deny that he was a part of the reason why the Cubs were in such a positive place toward the end of the season. On the mound, his energetic personality also made him a joy to watch when he was at his best.
The Cubs failed to capitalize on Marcus Stroman signing
Stroman will go on to join a Yankees rotation that includes Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes Jr. among others. The Cubs, meanwhile, have since addressed his departure by adding Japanese star Shōta Imanaga to pair with the team's emergent ace Justin Steele. While the lefty could be the piece that helps get the Northsiders over the hump, there's still a nagging disappointment that the team couldn't turn it around fast enough to make the Stroman signing matter.
Even if he didn't get the chance to pitch a postseason game for Chicago or be a part of the next great Cubs team, Stroman had plenty of highlights in his short time at Wrigley and it was clear he appreciated being a part of this team. Best of luck to him in his return to New York.