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  • E.J. Fagan

Marcus Stroman Would Be a Fine 4th Starter

by EJ Fagan

January 11, 2024

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NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.


Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

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Stroman is an odd pitcher. He’s famously short. He’s a smart guy. He sometimes says mildly controversial, although not problematic things. At 33, he’s older than he feels.


He’s also been a consistently strong starter throughout his career. His ERA over the last six seasons: 3.95, 3.50, 3.02, 3.22, 5.54, 3.09. His xFIP has been even more consistent, hovering right around 3.50 every year. He’s made 25 or more starts in every season other than 2018.


The Yankees need stability. Cortes and Rodon are wild cards. Hopefully one will come all the way back to being a strong #2 starter. Clark Schmidt will be fine as a #4 or #5. Stroman would comfortable slot in between the two as a guy who will help a strong offense win games. His ground ball approach should work in Yankee Stadium.


That said, I have concerns.


Stroman turns 33 in May. He’s a small guy. I’m worried that he won’t continue to be productive deep into his 30s. Notable Short Starter Pedro Martinez started to decline at 34, and Stroman doesn’t have Pedro’s otherworldly talent and is coming off his highest ERA since 2018.


It doesn’t help that Stroman was injured in 2023. He suffered a hip injury some time late in the year. His ERA was 2.88 on July 15th. Then, things went poorly:



Stroman pitched three more starts before landing on the IL, allowing 8 runs in nine innings. He returned early to try and get the Cubs into the playoffs, but was awful. His fastball velocity dipped 1-2 mph. In two short relief/rehab appearances and two short starts, Stroman allowed 5 runs in 8 innings. His ERA rose to 3.95 on the season.





Stroman then opted out of the the final year and $21 million of his Cubs contract.


Is he healthy? The good news is that Stroman has never had a serious arm or shoulder injury. Other than his brief return from injury in September, he’s been a consistent 92-94 mph pitcher during his current run of success.


I think that a healthy Stroman is going to be a pretty good #3 pitcher in 2024. I’m not sure how much longer he can continue to be productive though. Assuming his hip looks good, I could see the Yankees signing him to something like a $65/3 year contract. I’d be on board at that price, but not much more.

21 Comments


Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Jan 12

Ken Rosenthal writes on The Athletic website: The Yankees are adding a starting pitcher. Sources briefed on the discussions indicate the team has reached an agreement with free-agent right-hander Marcus Stroman on a two-year deal worth $37 million, with a vesting option pending a physical. Stroman figures to be their last major offseason move.

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Patrick Kissane
Patrick Kissane
Jan 12

It looks like we are getting and at great price!


Fuster was right, get him first!


Okay, maybe not Chapman, but Jordan Hicks!

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Patrick J. Sullivan
Patrick J. Sullivan
Jan 11


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autmorsautlibertas
Jan 11

Yankees just signed RHP Luke Weaver to a Major League deal per MLB Trade Rumors.

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Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Jan 11
Replying to

More detail: 9/16: went 4 innings in Pittsburgh...gave up 3 runs...Yanks scored 6...Brito got the win

9/22: 5.1 scoreless against Snakes at Stadium...bullpen gave up 1, Yanks scored 7...his win...

9/28: went 4 in Toronto, gave up 2 runs...bullpen gave up 4...Yanks shut out for Bassitt's 16th win

Thank you, CBS Sports website and mlb.com/gameday.

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Patrick Kissane
Patrick Kissane
Jan 11

I think you're generous on that contract, but would love to have him. Cortes and Stroman are a toss up for 3/4. I'm a big fan of Schmidt, a bulldog and Cole has taken him under his wing. We would be fortunate to have fifth that good.


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