Yankees are getting fantastic value from free agent pitching acquisition

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that the New York Yankees lost the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday afternoon in the home opener 3–0, they enjoyed a fantastic performance from Marcus Stroman, their 32-year-old new starting pitcher.

After rejecting Blake Snell‘s contract proposal, the Yankees quickly pivoted to Stroman several months ago, who was eager to join the Yankees and offer them a quality arm in the rotation. He signed a two-year, $37-million deal with a 2026 vesting option. His 2025 season becomes a player option with 140 innings pitched, and Stroman is already on pace after two starts.

Yankees Are Getting Great Starts From Marcus Stroman

Over 12 innings to open the season, Stroman hasn’t given up a run, collecting 7.50 strikeouts per nine, a 72.7% left-on-base rate, and a 48.5% ground ball rate. His velocity is about 1 mph less than it was in 2023, but he is still generating fantastic movement on his pitches and utilizing deception in his favor.

Stroman utilizes a sinker, cutter, slurve, and split-finger fastball. This year, his sinker has been fantastic, throwing it 38.6% of the time and producing a .091 batting average against.

However, he’s utilizing a newfound cutter far more frequently, throwing it at 36.6% compared to just 9.5% last season. It’s produced a .167 batting average with a 55.6% whiff rate and a 25% put-away rate. In fact, out of the four hits he’s given up over 12 innings, two of them have come using his four-seam fastball and slider, which he’s only thrown a combined five times this season.

The Yankees have clearly tweaked Stroman’s pitch usage, and it is paying off in dividends. At just $18.5 million per season, the Yankees are receiving tremendous value and should be excited about his upside this year.

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