Chicago Cubs: Marcus Stroman ‘can’t wait to pitch’ in front of Wrigley crowd

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

It’ll full steam ahead for the Chicago Cubs, with the MLB and MLBPA agreeing to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Thursday. The northsiders made a splash before the lockout, inking starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal worth $71 million.

Despite signing for two fewer years, the 30-year-old will earn a similar salary as Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman.

He’s been linked to the Cubs for quite a while, with the organization reportedly interested in acquiring his services during the first rebuild when Stroman was still with the Blue Jays.

And as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, the Medford, NY native had his eye on Chicago.

"“I let my agent do most of the work. He came to me and said the Cubs, obviously the Cubs, the franchise, the tradition, the history here, it’s one of the franchises in all of sports and fanbases as well,” Stroman said after initially signing. “It’s extremely appealing to me. It sells out every single night. To pitch in front of that electric crowd, it kind of draws me.”"

Stroman was the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and spent the first seven years of his career there. He was a big part of the team’s rotation when they were legitimate playoff contenders in 2015 and 2016, advancing to the ALCS in both years.

He returned to his hometown team, the New York Mets, at the 2019 trade deadline, posting a 3.21 ERA over part of two seasons. Stroman sat out of the shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but returned to lead the Mets rotation in wins (10) last year.

Marcus Stroman always knew that the Chicago Cubs would be a huge destination target for free agents.

Despite the Cubs roster turnover at the trade deadline last season, Stroman knows that the north side of Chicago will always be a destination target for prospective free agents, especially because of the fanbase.

"“Thankfully, they were able to work the deal out, and I kind of sprinted to LAX – like literally sprinted to LAX – and got on the last flight here […] the City has been incredibly welcoming on socials and I’m excited. I’m excited, this fanbase is incredible. I can’t wait to pitch here,” Stroman added."

Shortly after signing a deal with the Cubs, Stroman went to work tagging players like Carlos Correa on social media to come join him in Chicago. And immediately after the lockout, he resumed his recruitment of the free-agent shortstop.

Hot. Cubs are a favorite to land superstar Carlos Correa. light

Stroman made it very clear that he’s not just signing with the Cubs “just to come here,” but he expects to win. On paper, the roster looks significantly weaker than in previous seasons, but a couple of key free-agent additions could have the Cubs playing competitive baseball in 2022.