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Free Agent Poll: Marcus Stroman

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Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images

Keith Law and Ben Clemens have Marcus Stroman as their number 11 free agent this season.

We know all about Stroman. He was great fun to watch six and a half seasons with the Jays. But he may have burnt some bridges with the team when they traded him.

Career, he is 77-76 with a 4.11 ERA in 231 games, 223 starts. He has a career 24 fWAR.

He is 33 now, so there are questions about how he will do going into his mid to late 30s. I don’t know that smaller starting pitchers tend to age well. But he keeps himself in great shape.

Keith Law said:

Stroman had a 2.47 ERA and 3.34 FIP on July 1, but his performance cratered starting in late June, through his trip to the injured list in early August for hip inflammation, which Stroman said at the time was affecting his ability to use his lower half and driving his poor results. You can see some of this in the pitch data, as his fastball spin rate dropped about 100 rpms after that date, and he threw fewer strikes across all his stuff. He did return in September after his IL stint was extended for a rib cage fracture, making four relief appearances, but the pitch quality and results weren’t really better. I didn’t think he’d opt out given the injuries and poor showing in the second half, with $21 million guaranteed in the last year of his deal with the Cubs and some quality starting pitching on the market this winter. If you know you’re getting the first-half version of Stroman, he’s easily a $25 million a year pitcher, and someone who should hold his level of performance because he’s a strong groundball guy who keeps the ball in the park, rather than a pitcher who relies on bigger velocity and missing more bats. He made 50 starts in two years for the Cubs, with 275 innings total in those seasons, after a full and very effective year for the Mets in 2021, so I’d expect the market to discount him a little for the lower workloads, which I think puts him right around that same salary he walked away from by opting out – just perhaps for another three-year deal rather than one.

Ben said:

Stroman is on the older side for this group, so you might expect a slightly shorter contract. He’s coming off of two straight years of missing roughly a month with injury, though he hasn’t had any serious arm problems. He wasn’t as crisp as his first-half form when he returned post-injury this season. He doesn’t miss as many bats as he used to, and he posted a career-high walk rate in 2023. He’s not a few steps from being unplayable or anything, but he might already be right on that second starter/third starter fringe. That concern is undoubtedly greater after a rough September.

None of that is going to stop a team from offering him a multi-year contract, which is why he opted out of the last year of his current deal with the Cubs with one year and $21 million remaining. I think he was right to opt out, but I think it’ll be a near thing. I would’ve had him up closer to Gray earlier in the season, but fortunes can change quickly when pitchers get injured and come back looking worse.

Ben figures Stroman will get a 3-year, $66 million contract, averaging $22 million a season.

Poll

Should the Blue Jays sign Marcus Stroman if the price is $22 million annually for 3 years?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Yes, absolutely
    (102 votes)
  • 10%
    Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
    (70 votes)
  • 37%
    Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
    (244 votes)
  • 35%
    No, Absolutely not
    (230 votes)
646 votes total Vote Now