Yankees landed new pitching acquisition on a ‘alarming bargain’ deal

marcus stroman, yankees
May 29, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) reacts as after forcing Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (not pictured) to hit into a double play during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Adding another starting pitching talent to the Yankees‘ rotation after landing Marcus Stroman may be out of the question. Despite the fact they just dished out $37 million over two years for the former Chicago Cub, it is also important to note that they have five pitchers, and one would have to sacrifice a starting spot to add another arm.

At this time, it makes sense for the Yankees to stick with what they have and wait until the trade deadline over the summer to add a new player potentially. They could make a blockbuster move for Blake Snell, but only if his price tag comes down significantly and the Yankees are keen on trading one of their current arms.

However, the Stroman addition is certainly interesting, given his controversial past and his 2023 season being a bit polarizing. He’s pitched over 100 innings for his last seven active seasons, which certainly suggests he is durable and consistent.

Now 32 years old, Stroman hosted a 3.95 ERA last season over 136.2 innings, including the 65.9% left-on-base rate and 57.1% ground ball rate.

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The Yankees See Stroman’s Upside

Pre-All-Star break last season, Stroman finished with a 2.96 ERA across 112.2 innings, but he was dealing with a hip injury late in the year, which impacted his production.

Post All-Star break, he tossed just 24 innings, recording an 8.63 ERA. Given those numbers, it is safe to say that he was excellent for a good portion of the season, which is why the Yankees are willing to take a chance on his 94th-percentile ground ball rate. He profiles well for Yankee Stadium, but given the trend of starting pitchers signing big contracts, it is surprising he got such a fair deal. In fact, Ken Rosenthal called it an “alarming bargain,” coming in well below the three-year, $63 million deal predicted by The Athletic.

Despite Stroman taking a few shots at Yankee fans and the organization on social media in the past, general manager Brian Cashman was willing to overlook those concerns to sign a quality starter on a short-term contract.

Clearly, he doesn’t want to give $200 million for a pitcher over 30 years old, especially if he wants to spend on Juan Soto next off-season and look for a long-term solution at a younger age to fill a rotation spot.