Cubs reportedly sign Marcus Stroman to three-year, $71 million deal

·4 min read

In an offseason when the Chicago White Sox were expected to be the main story in the city, it was the team on the North Side that made the biggest splash ... so far. The Chicago Cubs reportedly agreed to a three-year, $71 million deal with pitcher Marcus Stroman, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The deal contains an opt-out after the second season. Stroman will make $25 million per season in 2022 and 2023. He can opt out following the 2023 season, or return to the Cubs on a one-year, $21 million deal in 2024.

Stroman can also earn an additional $2 million if he exceeds 160 innings pitched in 2022 and 2023.

The deal allows Stroman to re-enter the free-agent market in two seasons and pursue a much larger contract if he performs well. It also allows him to leave the Cubs if the team fails to get back into contention after a disappointing 2021.

Marcus Stroman confirmed Cubs signing on Twitter

Stroman appeared to confirm the news on Twitter before it was reported, sending out a message reading, "CHICAGO!," and tagging the Cubs in the tweet. He also responded to a tweet from starter Adbert Alzolay asking if he's ready to deal in front of "that unbelievable Wrigley crowd."

Stroman added Chicago is one of his favorite cities.

Stroman, 30, is coming off a season in which he posted a 3.02 ERA in 179 innings with the New York Mets. Over his seven seasons in the majors, Stroman established himself as an above average, durable starter. His career 3.63 ERA (133 ERA+) is 33 percent better than league average. He's a former All-Star, making the American League team in 2019. And he won a Gold Glove award in 2017.

Stroman has experienced injuries during his career, most notably an ACL tear in 2015 and a calf injury that caused him to opt out of the 2020 season, but he made at least 32 starts in four of the past six seasons. 

Notably, Stroman has never pitched at Wrigley Field. He has faced the Cubs three times in his career, all when Chicago was on the road. Stroman has pitched in Chicago, starting five games at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox's home park.

Marcus Stroman with the Mets.
Marcus Stroman is reportedly joining the Cubs. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Marcus Stroman expected to help carry Cubs rotation

Stroman will likely slot in as the No. 2 starter on the Cubs, behind Kyle Hendricks. That pair, along with new addition Wade Miley, are expected to carry a significant load as the team figures out the back end of the rotation. Adbert Alzolay had moments of promise in 2021, but rarely went deep into games and gave up a lot of home runs. Alec Mills — who posted a 5.07 ERA in 20 starts — and Justin Steele, who made nine starts in 2021, are also expected to be in the mix for a rotation spot.

The Stroman signing marks the first significant move for the Cubs since trading away Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo at the 2021 trade deadline. Baez agreed to a six-year, $140 million deal with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Bryant and Rizzo remain unsigned. 

With the majority of their core gone, the Cubs stumbled to a 71-91 record, finishing in fourth place in the National League Central. Stroman will be tasked with helping a young team bounce back in a suddenly tough division.