Yankees have ‘mutual interest’ with one of the top remaining free agent starters

mlb: cincinnati reds at chicago cubs, yankees, marcus stroman
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have been linked to essentially every starting pitcher on the free agent and trade market over the past few weeks. However, over the weekend, Bob Nightingale of USA Today suggested that Marcus Stroman had told the Yankees he was interested in signing, but they had yet to offer him a deal.

In fact, Nightengale reported that the Yankees “declined to make an offer,” but that sentiment changed on Monday, as he’s now saying that there is “mutual interest” between the two sides.

Should the Yankees Consider Marcus Stroman?

Stroman has a complicated history, taking public shots at the Yankees and their fans. He even suggested at one point that the Yankees fail to win championships despite their massive payroll, and now he wants a piece of it.

At 32 years old, there’s no question that Stroman is one of the best remaining starters, tossing 136.2 innings this past season, hosting a 3.95 ERA, 65.9% left on base rate, and 57.1% ground ball rate. He is probably the best ground ball-inducing pitcher on the market right now, but his controversial takes and personality may rub some Yankee officials the wrong way.

However, if the team wants to win a championship in 2024, adding an arm that has pitched over 100 innings for seven consecutive active seasons is certainly worthwhile. He didn’t pitch during the Covid season in 2020. Stroman hasn’t had an ERA below 4.00 since 2018 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

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While his strikeouts are not a primary focus, Stroman routinely produces weak contact and limits home run production, which is ideal for Yankee Stadium. He’s actually a perfect fit for the Yankees, given he would likely be a cheaper alternative in free agency, and they would still have the ammo to go get more talent, whether it be via FA or trade.

In a perfect world, they may bring in Stroman as a free agent and trade for Shane Bieber of the Guardians. Of course, many question if Stroman can handle the pressure of being a Yankee and having already rubbed shoulders with fans in a negative light.

This will be an interesting storyline to follow over the next few weeks, especially if general manager Brian Cashman can’t find a better alternative. It doesn’t seem as though he wants to overspend on a pitcher over 30 years old, so swallowing his pride and signing the veteran doesn’t seem out of the equation.