Yankees’ newly-acquired starter calls teammate the best hitter he’s ever faced

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Marcus Stroman had his opening presser with the New York Yankees, where the right-hander was able to talk to the media for the first time as a member of the organization. Among the things mentioned during the presser, Stroman had remarked about how strong the lineup is with the addition of Juan Soto, who he gave a glowing review about in his opening remarks this afternoon.

“I think we’re capable of definitely having a deep October run. … Adding Soto to this lineup, I think he’s the best hitter in baseball.”

– Marcus Stroman (via @BryanHoch on Twitter)

The 32-year-old right-hander seems excited to play alongside his new teammates, and there’s plenty of buzz surrounding the team as they head into Spring Training.

Marcus Stroman Shares Excitement to Join Yankees

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Jul 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

When the Yankees inked Marcus Stroman to a two-year $37 million deal, it was immediately met with the question of how two parties that have had an ongoing feud for years could form a union. Maybe it was desperation, maybe it was a change of heart, or maybe it’s just a matter of a good pitcher wanting to join a good team, but the right-hander seems to be excited to be on the Bronx Bombers. He mentioned that he held a conversation with long-time General Manager Brian Cashman, who made the initial comment regarding Stroman back in 2019 which sparked the beef.

It was revealed that the two were able to laugh about those comments and the issues seem to be water under the bridge, but there are still valid concerns regarding his activity on social media. The Yankees seem to believe that those days are behind Stroman, but actions will have to speak louder than words on that front, especially in a market like New York where the media and fanbases are unforgiving. Stroman has never been one to shy away from pressure or the spotlight, and that’s something he views as an advantage in the Bronx.

There’s one thing in sports that has historically wiped a slate clean in the eyes of both fans and media alike, and that’s winning. Stroman referred to Juan Soto as the best hitter in the world, and pairing him with a hitter like Aaron Judge should certainly create one of the most dynamic offensive duos in recent memory. For those worried that those comments would bother the captain, Stroman mentioned he and Judge have also spoken, and it seems those conversations were positive.

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Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) adjusts his batting helmet in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the season, Aaron Judge spoke about wanting players who were capable of remaining on the field throughout the year and also mentioned that he was having conversations with various decision-makers in the organization including Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner. The chances that the Yankees would add a player in free agency who he detested are slim to none, so any speculation that there’s a rift based on comments made about Juan Soto’s greatness would be a stretch.

There are reasons to have reservations about whether Marcus Stroman will pan out in the Bronx or not, but there’s no denying that their rotation has improved because of his addition. An All-Star in 2023, the Yankees are hoping to get the version of Marcus Stroman we saw in the first half and get a much-needed anchor alongside Gerrit Cole in the rotation as they gear up for a World Series push.