Yankees emerge as frontrunners for ace pitcher Stroman, eyes rotation boost

Pitcher Marcus Stroman is reportedly interested to join the Yankees in 2024.

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The New York Yankees are emerging as the frontrunners in the pursuit of free-agent starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Recent discussions between Stroman and the Yankees have been described as “productive,” solidifying New York’s position as the “top candidate” to secure the veteran pitcher’s services.

Yankees hot for Stroman, rotation fix on?

Pitcher Marcus Stroman is reportedly interested to join the Yankees in 2024.
Eve Edelheit-Wall Street Journal

Bob Nightengale of USA Today had previously reported that Stroman expressed genuine interest in joining the Yankees, reaching out to convey his seriousness about a potential deal. However, initial reports indicated that the Yankees had refrained from presenting a contract offer during that initial contact.

The Yankees, seeking to bolster their starting rotation, particularly behind the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole, see Stroman as a viable option. The 32-year-old right-hander, a native of Medford, New York, has enjoyed a successful career with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs since making his Major League debut in 2014.

Stroman’s track record includes achievements such as winning a Gold Glove in 2017 and finishing eighth in the AL Cy Young Award voting that same year. He made his All-Star debut in 2019 while splitting the season between the Blue Jays and Mets. Notably, his standout statistical season occurred in 2021 with the Mets, where he posted a 3.02 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 158 strikeouts over 179 innings.

Having spent the past two seasons as a key figure in the Chicago Cubs’ starting rotation, Stroman posted respectable numbers, going 6-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 2022 and earning his second All-Star nod in the following season with a 10-9 record, a 3.95 ERA, and 119 strikeouts in 136.2 innings.

While Stroman may not be considered an ace for a contending team, his proven ability to handle the pressure of playing in New York, evidenced by his successful stint with the Mets, makes him an appealing option for the Yankees. With Cole anchoring the rotation, Stroman could fill a crucial role near the top, addressing the team’s need for a reliable starter.

Currently, the Yankees’ starting pitching options for the 2024 season beyond Cole include Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortés, and Clarke Schmidt. Rodón, a two-time All-Star, struggled with injuries and performance in the previous season. Cortés, after an impressive 2022, faced setbacks due to injuries in the following season. Schmidt, despite a solid rookie season, is viewed as a lower-ranked starter in an ideal rotation.

Considering the Yankees’ pursuit of pitching reinforcements, Stroman represents a significant step towards enhancing their rotation. Despite the need for additional signings, the potential addition of Stroman aligns with the team’s strategy to fortify both their lineup and pitching staff, as seen with the acquisition of All-Star outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres.

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