Saturday, May 28, 2022

Cubs Signing Marcus Stroman Seems More Possible Now


The Cubs started their offseason by surprising many fans and claiming left-handed starter Wade Miley off waivers from the Reds Friday. Miley’s $10 million option for 2022 was picked up by the Cubs and now there’s a sense that this may finally be the offseason in which the team returns to the free agent frenzy.

We know that Jed Hoyer said the team will be active this winter, but also mentioned spending intelligently. We’re also painfully aware that the Cubs need to address their pitching staff and getting Miley from the Reds was a solid first step. But what about signing a premiere starting pitcher from the agent pool?

And this isn’t me screaming from the rooftops that the Cubs should go out there and get every top player. No, because after contract projections came out on Monday, spending intelligently and getting a good pitcher could line up nicely for the Cubs.

Stroman Contract Projections

Obviously contract projections aren’t an exact science, but they do give us a ballpark figure on what to expect for free agents. As you’ll see, they can be wildly different, but for Marcus Stroman the figures do paint an early narrative. Maybe his deal won’t be as big as we initially thought?

A month ago, I thought there’d be no way Stroman would even be on the Cubs’ radar with the initial rumblings about his potential contract.

But things have changed.

Stroman is listed No. 8 in FanGraphs Top-50 Free Agents list put together by Ben Clemens and let’s just say that the projections are stunningly low.

I mean, even the highest contract projection that comes from Clemens himself is only a four-year deal at $100 million. That is very doable for the Cubs, who need a guy like Stroman to add much-needed stability to the rotation.

Over at MLB Trade Rumors, Stroman is ranked 11th in their top-50 free agent list with a projected five-year, $110 million contract. Again, $22 million a year for Stroman isn’t an overpay.

We have two more projections and again even though they’re on completely different parts of the spectrum, you can probably guess that Stroman might end up somewhere in the middle.

The New York Post predicts five years for $100 million, while ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel’s top-50 free agents lists Stroman at three years for $48 million.

So, when you look at all the numbers getting thrown out right now it’s conceivable to think Stroman could sign a four-year contract worth between $80-90 million. If so, the Cubs should be all over that.

And the thing about the Cubs spending this offseason is that I don’t expect them to target players who have received the qualifying offer. As much as I’d love to have one of the elite shortstops, I’m staying realistic. Yet, that’s another reason why going after Stroman makes sense for the Cubs.The 30-year-old right-hander is a free agent with no QO attached to him. He already bet on himself accepting the QO from the Mets in 2021, and he went on to have one of the most productive seasons of his career.

Stroman isn’t going to get a hefty contract like Jon Lester did seven years ago and at this point I don’t think he’ll get as much guaranteed money as Yu Darvish got in 2018.

The Cubs can be smart with their money and not break Ricketts’ wallet by signing Stroman. We’ll see how Stroman’s market plays out, but right now I’m a lot more optimistic about the Cubs signing Stroman than I was a couple weeks ago.

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