Can Marcus Stroman thrive in the Yankees’ realm?

The Yankees signed Marcus Stroman on January 11, 2024, for two years.
Amanda Paula
Friday January 12, 2024

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The narrative hinges on whether Stroman can deliver the pitching prowess the Yankees desperately seek. If he succeeds, the echoes of his past controversies may fade into the background. However, if his performance falters, the ever-fickle Bronx fans and the notoriously critical New York media are poised to seize the opportunity to criticize.

Can Stroman master the Yankee stadium maze?

The Yankees signed Marcus Stroman on January 11, 2024, for two years.

After a stint with the Chicago Cubs spanning two seasons, Stroman, a right-hander, inked a two-year deal with the Yankees, realizing a long-cherished dream. The contract guarantees him $37 million, with a vesting player option for 2026 valued at $18 million, contingent on a successful physical examination.

Stroman’s desire to join the Yankees dates back to the 2019 trade deadline when, as a Blue Jay, he sought a long-term deal with Toronto. However, when it became evident that the sentiment was not reciprocated, he openly expressed his eagerness to embrace the New York atmosphere. The Blue Jays, accommodating his wish, traded him to the Mets instead of the Yankees, a move that left Stroman visibly discontented.

The aftermath included a post-game tirade, a violation of MLB’s collective agreement, and media criticism. Stroman eventually accepted his fate with the Mets but harbored lingering resentment, exacerbated by trolling from the Yankees’ front office. General manager Brian Cashman downplayed Stroman’s potential impact, suggesting he would end up in the bullpen during the postseason.

Stroman, known for his sensitivity to criticism, responded promptly, comparing his stats favorably to the Yankees’ starters and asserting his value. This marked the beginning of a period where Stroman consistently criticized the Yankees on social media, claiming their spending and player acquisitions should result in more success.

Despite the animosity, the Yankees, in need of a reliable starter, signed Stroman, looking past his previous comments. Stroman’s 2019 reaction is viewed as that of a scorned lover now given the opportunity for a serious relationship. The ensuing drama will unfold based on Stroman’s on-field performance.

If Stroman excels, his past grievances may be overlooked, and he may be embraced by the Yankees’ fanbase. However, if he falters, the drama is likely to intensify, given the demanding nature of Yankees fans and the unforgiving New York media.

Stroman’s recent low profile and respectable performance with the Cubs suggest a potential positive turn. Still, considering his history of public controversies with the Jays, Mets, and Yankees, there’s a looming anticipation of future outbursts.

While Jays fans may fear Stroman’s impact in New York, they shouldn’t prematurely celebrate burying the past. Stroman’s performance in 2021 showcased promise, and his ground-ball expertise suits the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. The Yankees’ potential pursuit of additional top-tier players like Blake Snell and Josh Hader adds to the apprehension for the Blue Jays.

In essence, Marcus Stroman’s arrival in New York promises an engaging narrative, regardless of the outcome. Whether he becomes a hero or a scapegoat, his tenure with the Yankees is poised to be a captivating and unpredictable journey.

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