Yankees sign Marcus Stroman to a two-year deal at $37 million

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

After the Yankees were rumored to have ‘sincere’ interest in right-hander Marcus Stroman by Jack Curry of YES Network, Jon Heyman reports that the team is progressing on a deal with him. The Yankees have shown plenty of interest in the 32-year-old after he made his second career All-Star Game, and they are now officially signing him to a contract. This comes to the shock of many, as the team has been a target of Stroman’s criticism online.

Back in 2019, Brian Cashman publicly mentioned that Marcus Stroman wouldn’t be a difference-maker for the team and that he likely would have come out of the bullpen for the Yankees in their playoff run. Since then, Stroman has made various posts online about his displeasure regarding the comments, but the two parties have put their differences aside.

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees and Marcus Stroman have agreed to a two-year deal at $37 million with a third year in the form of a vesting option

The Yankees Make Controversial Decision to Sign Marcus Stroman

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
Sep 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees looking to make an addition to their rotation after missing out on Japanese superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they pivot to a shorter-term deal with RHP Marcus Stroman. The 32-year-old veteran has experience pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs, meaning he has experience both in the American League East and New York. He signed a three-year deal right before the lockout in 2021 with the Cubs but opted out of his final year to hit the free-agent market.

This past season, Marcus Stroman went 10-9 with a 3.95 ERA and 3.58 FIP, struggling mightily after a great first half as he dealt with lower-body injuries that caused him to pitch to the tune of an 8.31 ERA after the month of June. It’ll be a risky signing for the Yankees, who know that Stroman comes with a massive personality and isn’t shy about talking on social media, which is different from what we’re used to with the ‘Yankee Way’.

His comments towards Yankees fans over the past few seasons and his criticisms of Brian Cashman will certainly be of question, but it’s also easy to see why they signed him. A groundball pitcher, Stroman had a 57.1% groundball rate last year, which ranked in the 94th Percentile, and the right-hander has a sinker that he heavily relies upon to get soft contact on the ground. Stroman also possesses an excellent slurve that works as a strike-out pitch for him, although he’s traditionally been a contact-first pitcher.

MLB: Game One-New York Mets at New York Yankees
Jul 4, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees needed to make a notable addition to their rotation, and Marcus Stroman profiles as a three or four, which does inherently place pressure on a guy like Carlos Rodon to rebound next year. One could argue that regardless of who the Yankees added, they would need their $162 million investment to yield positive returns to compete for a World Series, but Stroman should at least provide some insurance and consistency, which the team sorely lacked after dealing pitching depth for Juan Soto.

Having pitched to a sub-4 ERA in each of his last four seasons, the Yankees are hoping that Marcus Stroman can remain consistent in 2024, and perhaps endear himself to the fanbase with success. The ugly side of this? Well, whatever fans think of Josh Donaldson now would pale in comparison to what they’d think of Stroman if he were to bust in the Bronx, especially given how certain he’s been over the years that he would have made the team better.

For now, the Yankees will be paying him $18.5 million a season through at least 2025, and fans of the team will have to call a truce with a pitcher who’s been a source of irritation on social media for them.